Climate change have significant negative impacts on health and psychological well-being

Climate change will have significant negative impacts on Americans' health and psychological well-being, due to an increase in the frequency and severity of climate-related natural disasters and other climate-related changes in the environment and weather. Likely effects, which will increase as climate change's physical impacts accelerate, include stress, anxiety, depression and a loss of community identity, says a new report from the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica.

Climate change is also likely to result in an increase in post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions because of the rise in the number and severity of natural disasters, according to the report. Climate change could also lead to increased feelings of loss and helplessness if individuals and communities are forced to relocate.

"The striking thing is how these effects will permeate so many aspects of our daily lives," said Norman B. Anderson, PhD, CEO of the American Psychological Association. "The effects we are likely to see aren't just trauma from experiencing natural disasters. We can also expect increases in long-term stress and anxiety from the aftermath of disasters, as well as increases in violence and crime rates as a result of higher temperatures or competition for scarce resources."

The report, which was produced in collaboration with College of Wooster psychology professor Susan Clayton, PhD, Macalester College environmental studies professor Christie Manning, PhD, and ecoAmerica researcher Caroline Hodge, also recommends actions that individuals and communities can take to address the psychological impacts of climate change.

"There are a number of things communities can do to prepare for acute impacts of climate change -- such as hurricanes and wildfires -- as well as the slowly evolving changes like droughts that permanently and profoundly affect communities." said Bob Perkowitz, president of ecoAmerica. "Virtually everything a community does to prepare for or help prevent climate change has co-benefits, like increased community cohesion, increased health and well-being, and risk reduction."

According to the report, certain populations and communities will be especially vulnerable to mental health impacts. Studies have shown that women, children and the elderly are particularly at risk for serious and long-lasting psychological effects. And communities with poor infrastructure may experience worse physical—and consequent psychological—impacts.

The report outlines steps people and communities can take to buffer themselves against psychological and mental health impacts from climate change related events. One recommendation is for city planners and health officials to put resources toward strengthening collaboration with existing community and social networks, like neighborhood or faith-based groups. These groups can serve as important sources of social support before, during and after disasters.

The report emphasizes that taking steps to prepare for these effects can lead to other benefits, such as stronger community cohesion and reduced disaster risk.

Perkowitz said he hopes the report will deepen public understanding of climate change, and help the communities around the U.S. understand what they need to do to respond. "Some of these psychological impacts are alarming," he said. "But by carefully planning for these effects, and helping people understand what we can do to move toward climate solutions, we'll be prepared to meet this challenge and make our country stronger as a result."



ecoAmerica; American Psychological Association


  1. Larry Burdge Larry Burdge United States says:

    Soooooo, You are telling me that Climate Change will make me MORE, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and Loss of Community Identity?  Hello, I've already got all of those with Obama and the last 5+ years of him and his Chicago Mafia he brought with him.  Please, Just Go-Away, Just Go.

  2. Ed Jones Ed Jones United States says:

    What nonsense.  What's causing needless anxiety, especially in the classrooms is unscientific, politically motivated climate hysteria.  If you prefer science to zealotry, read this:

  3. Dale Hunt Dale Hunt United States says:

    What will be stressful and cause anxiety will not be climate change itself (if it were true, which it is not) will be the 12 century existence we will have to live in if the climate scammers get their way.  They believe (notice I said "believe" because it is a cult) that destroying everyone's economies and modern lifestyles will somehow change the climate of the earth.  They are just trying to pick everyone's wallets clean, in order to enhance their own lifestyles and power.  This whole climate change BS has nothing to do with saving the earth's environment.  It has to do with controlling the population and consolidating money and power to the liberal elitists.  Settled science my arse.

    • Larry Burdge Larry Burdge United States says:

      Dale, Climate Change, formerly known as Global Warming (what next???), is NOT a Cult, it is a Religion and you will go to hell, or have some other horrible thing befall you ,  if you don't believe in it. Just ask one if you don't believe me... Notive how Liberals are always changing names of any Dumbfounded project on at the moment, trying to Suck more Peasants into their point of view that the SKY is Falling?

  4. Ben Dover Ben Dover United States says:

    LOL, these 1 world government fascists just don't give up. Every single "scientist" who promotes the left wing global warming hoax has been paid by a left wing government or group to lie.

    Seriously, psychology is the "science" of no-shit-Sherlock and promoting global-warming-climate-change-disruption-big-government-power is just a sign of insanity. A recent study found that 909% of all studies are bulls hit.

  5. john ollie john ollie United States says:

    Oh please.  Now the Pharm industry/monster is trying to cash in on the scam??

    • Ben Dover Ben Dover United States says:

      Remember, Big Pharma was one of the first to make a deal with the Obama regime in the Obamacare nightmare. Obama promised them big profits if they would support  the destruction of the world's best healthcare system. In other words, the Nazis said, "If you are with us, we won't bomb your house".

  6. hammerstamp . hammerstamp . United States says:

    What really raises my stress level is damn liars.

  7. bill booth bill booth United States says:

    I read the article and it occurs to me that Bill Murray had a line like that in Ghost Busters

  8. Gee Grevalaz Gee Grevalaz United States says:

    Geeze guys! Wouldn't you also get a bit bent out of shape if you were seriously concerned with seeing a mile-high glacier moving toward you, and in the longer term, the very gradual death of our sun and life on earth?

  9. as;dfjsaefj sad;lkjg;la as;dfjsaefj sad;lkjg;la United States says:

    It certainly will have significant negative impacts on health and psychological well-being of Climate-change-evangelists.

  10. adele ashley adele ashley United States says:

    Damn right.  If I cannot sleep cool at night, my husband will be sorry.

    • Larry Burdge Larry Burdge United States says:

      Now that's funny, I don't care who your are::::: I know what you mean. My wife makes me sorry often.  AND lets me know just how sorry I am. But I try to understand as we've only been married 40+ years and really haven't "settled-in" with each other yet.

  11. Aberdeen Vet Aberdeen Vet United States says:

    Without the incessant hysteria from the ignorant mainstream media fomented by our hypocritical politicians working to gain as muct graft as possible from the climate control industry there would be no "significant negative impacts on health and psychological well-being". Just as people have been coping with the vagaries of life, which climate variations have ALWAYS BEEN A PART, life will continue for most in conscious awareness of the weather conditions and how to cope with them. For the few who are thrown for a loop by changes in climate, get a life.

  12. Mike J Mike J United States says:

    The author is correct but I'm not stressed because of climate change/global warming/climate disruption or whatever they are calling it today. The only thing I'm stressed about is how much all of this extremist "save mother earth" crapola is going to cost me and how it will change my lifestyle (not in a good way either).

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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