Podcast: Eco-anxiety: The next mental health crisis
Oct 11, 2022 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
It’s not just the tangible future that climate change affects; it’s also the imagined, which has the longest and darkest horizon in the minds of young people who can’t help but fear how they’ll eat, drink, breathe and live on a planet that’s headed in the direction it is now.
Yes: children and youth worldwide are living in an age of ‘eco-anxiety’ – a term Oxford Dictionaries shortlisted as 2019’s Word of the Year (losing out to ‘climate emergency’ instead) – and it’s affecting their mental health to a point that could soon well verge on a violation of human rights. According to a recent study, nearly 60 percent of young people from 10 countries felt either “very worried” or “extremely worried” about the climate crisis, incurring feelings of sadness, fear, anxiety and anger.
This sobering episode features Susan Clayton, a professor of psychology and author of the aforementioned study as well as a lead author for the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, to discuss how climate change is affecting the minds of young people – and what world leaders must do about it.