Ecological Crisis and the Impact on Mental Health – recording

Matt Kempen
Marketing Manager for ACAMH

Posted on

This was the first in a series of events leading up to the CAMH Special Issue on ‘Child and youth mental health & the global ecological crisis’, to be published in January 2022. This session was recorded on Tuesday 9 November 2021. Other FREE sessions coming up include Climate Change Impacting Mental Health – live from Australia & UK and CAMH Special Issue on ‘Child and youth mental health & the global ecological crisis’ session 1.

The slides from the event can be downloaded as a pdf version.

The chat from the event can be downloaded txt file. NB all surnames, apart for panellists have been deleted.

About the event

A panel comprising, Professor Dr. Lise Van Susteren, Jennifer Uchendu, Dr. Laelia Benoit, and three young people who are part of The McPin Foundation Young People’s Network discussed the research on climate anxiety, and what the burden of mental health related to climate change with. This discussion was be co-chaired by Rhiannon Hawkins, Royal College of Psychiatrists Young Person Representative, Douglas Badenoch, and Andre Tomlin (@Mental_Elf) 

They discussed:

  • Experience. What are the affects of climate anxiety on a young person?
  • Evidence. What studies have been done on climate anxiety? What is the quality of this evidence?
  • Engagement. What should we do personally and professionally?


CAMH Special Issue – ‘Mental Health and the Global Ecological Crisis’ landing page of free papers, podcasts, and upcoming free events.

The Royal College of Physiatrists ‘Eco distress: for young people’

The Royal College of Physiatrists position on sustainability

About the Speakers

Dr. Lise Van Susteren

Dr. Lise Van SusterenDr. Lise Van Susteren is an American psychiatrist in private practice in Washington, DC with a special interest in the psychological effects of climate change. Dr. Van Susteren speaks frequently to civic, educational, religious, labor, and environmental groups about the impacts of climate change, particularly the health impacts, in the Washington, DC area, nationally, and abroad. In 2009, she organized the first conference to focus on the psychological impacts of climate change. She co-authored The Psychological Effects of Climate Changepublished by the National Wildlife Federation.

In 2011, Dr. Van Susteren collaborated with Our Children’s Trust in a lawsuit against the federal government for breach of its fiduciary duties to preserve and protect the atmosphere for children and future generations. Dr. Van Susteren co-founded Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, a multi-faith coalition dedicated to organizing people of religion and spirituality to speak out against climate change. She also co-authored the 2013 piece, Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature, published by PLOS ONE, an open access peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science.

Dr. Van Susteren serves on the advisory board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Federation and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Since 2009, she has served on the Climate Energy and Environmental Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in Washington, DC. She also serves on the Policy Advisory Board of Gender Rights Maryland.(Bio and image from Climate for Health)

Jennifer Uchendu
Jennifer Uchendu

Jennifer Uchendu is an ecofeminist, sustainability communicator and the founder of SustyVibes – a youth-led organisation championing sustainable development research and project in Nigeria through pop-culture. Her recent research interests lie between the intersects of climate change and mental health with a focus on intersectionality and emotions in youth climate activists. (Bio and image from Confer)

Dr. Laelia Benoit
Dr. Laelia Benoit

Dr. Laelia Benoit (MD, Ph.D.) is a French and Brazilian Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and associate researcher at the Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP) of the French NIH (Inserm). Her current project assesses the impact of climate change on the mental health of children and adolescents in three different countries (the US, Brazil, and France). Laelia Benoit favors citizen research approaches, involving adolescents, their parents, professionals, and family support groups. Her teaching (Yale University, Universidade de São Paolo, University of Paris) focuses on qualitative methods for researchers, and on psychological and social science skills for caregivers and school professionals to help them support the health of children. (Bio and image from Yale School of Medicine)

Rhiannon Hawkins
Rhiannon Hawkins

Rhiannon is a young person representative for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and studies Geography at the University of Oxford. She has been involved in a variety of different eco distress Royal College projects, for example: planning conferences, doing press interviews and contributed to the College’s climate position statement. She is currently involved with the ACAMH journal and is writing an article for their COP26 issue being released in February. She has a strong interests in Climate Change, eco distress and intersectionality.

André Tomlin
André Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He’s worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service. The Mental Elf is a blogging platform that presents expert summaries of the latest reliable research and disseminates this evidence across social media. They have published thousands of blogs over the last 10 years, written by experts and discussed by patients, practitioners and researchers. This innovative digital platform helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!
Follow on Twitter @Mental_Elf

Douglas Badenoch
Douglas Badenoch

I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I’ve been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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