Thinking, hearing and learning about climate change can be overwhelming. The topic is often in the news, on social media and being discussed by people around us.
Research shows that climate change is negatively affecting the mental health and wellbeing of people around the world. This is particularly true for young people who are most likely to be impacted by the consequences of climate change in the long-term.
Climate change can evoke a range of emotions in us, including sadness, worry, anxiety, frustration, anger and powerlessness. If you are struggling with difficult thoughts and feelings about climate change, it is vital that you feel a sense of safety to discuss your concerns with friends and family, and that you have the opportunity to find like-minded communities and support.
Here are some tips that could help:
- Communication: Talking to friends and family about your concerns and your emotions can help lighten the intensity and sense of being overwhelmed by the situation.
- Information: Be aware of the amount of information you are consuming. You want to be informed about climate change, but not overwhelmed.
- Collective action: Joining a local climate action group or organisation and speaking to like-minded people can help your mental health and increase your impact. Taking action can make you feel more in control and less anxious.
- Take small steps: Not everyone wants to be a climate activist but there are simple steps you can take in your home and your life generally to make a positive impact on both the environment and your mental health. Just searching online with ‘start environmental action’ will provide a wide range of ideas. Are there steps you could take like recycling, reducing energy use or eating less meat and dairy?
If you are struggling with difficult thoughts and emotions around climate change, you can text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 for round the clock support from a trained volunteer. Shout is free, 24/7 and confidential.