In a 2020 op-ed published in Ensia, a journal produced by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, Kristi White, a clinical health psychologist in Minneapolis, sounded the alarm to therapists that climate change had become a “disease of despair.” A growing body of evidence backs White up. In December, a study conducted by researchers in the U.S., the U.K. and Finland surveyed 100,000 people ages 16 to 25 in 10 countries on their feelings about global warming. Sixty percent described themselves as “very” or “extremely” worried about climate change, while more than 45 percent said their views on climate change negatively affected their daily lives. In 2017, the American Psychological Association released a guide for therapists detailing the growing need to address climate anxiety. It noted that climate change was already leading to “major chronic mental health impacts” including “higher rates of aggression and violence, more mental health emergencies, an increased sense of helplessness, hopelessness or fatalism, and intense feelings of loss.” For all the therapists who spoke to Yahoo News for this article, the belief was that as the climate crisis continues to worsen, treating the anxiety that follows from it will continue to represent a bigger portion of their caseload — especially for younger patients.
By David Knowles. YahooNews. January 15, 2022.
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