This event discussed the impact climate change is having on young people’s mental health.
Children are more impacted by disasters than adults and are more likely to have continued trauma-related symptoms after a disaster. There is an increased demand for mental health services following climate-related disaster, yet we are in a time of cuts to services, and gaps in recruitment. Will this see a rise in eco-anxiety in young people and how will services cope?
Climate disasters such as wildfires and flooding are not freak phenomenons, they are becoming regular occurrences. Longer term impacts of climate change such as failed crops, water scarcity, rising sea levels, can all be concerns for young people as they navigate a complex time in their lives. What does the evidence tell us about these climate change impacting mental health?
About the event
This is part of a series of events leading up to the CAMH Special Issue on ‘Child and youth mental health & the global ecological crisis’ (due to be published in January 2022), we’ll be discussing the mental health implications of climate change with leading mental health professionals, young people, clinicians, and researchers.
A panel comprising, Professor Bernadka Dubicka, Professor Ann Sanson, Associate Professor Dr. Emma Sciberras, Dr. Charles Le Feuvre, Dr. Julian Fernando, and Marco Bellemo, will discussed the evidence-base research on the impact climate change is having on mental health.
Responding to the Impacts of the Climate Crisis on Children and Youth Ann V. Sanson, Judith Van Hoorn, Susie E. L. Burke
‘Adolescents’ thoughts and feelings about the local and global environment: a qualitative interview study’ Rhiannon Thompson, Helen L. Fisher, Lindsay H. Dewa, Tania Hussain, Zaina Kabba, & Mireille B. Toledano
The Anxiety and Grief of the Ecological Crisis Dr. Laelia Benoit
Recorded talks and lectures
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’, recorded on Tuesday 9 November 2021. 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)
Ideas emerging from week one at COP26 Professor Bernadka Dubicka, our Editor in Chief of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Journal (CAMH), and recent chair of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) Faculty RCPsych, has been at COP26. In this blog post Bernadka talks about what she has learned from the first week of the global climate conference.
Yes, young people are concerned about climate change. But it can drive them to take action Emma Sciberras and Julian Fernando discuses eco-anxiety, the impact of climate change on CYP mental health, and their 2022 CAMH Special Issue paper. This blog was published on The Conversation.com on Wednesday 10 November 2021.
About the speakers
Professor Bernadka Dubicka is a Consultant Psychiatrist at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Child and Adolescent Mental Health. She is the former Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) Child and Adolescent Faculty, where she played a leading role in developing the eco-CAMHS group; contributed to the RCPsych position statement on the ecological crisis; and has commissioned a special issue of CAMH on the ecological crisis (Feb 2022) with invited editor, Dr Ann Sanson. She attended COP26 in Glasgow as an RCPsych observer.
Professor Ann Sanson is a developmental psychologist whose research has principally focused on understanding the role of child, family and community characteristics in social and emotional development from infancy to adulthood, with a recent focus on positive development. She has been a principal investigator on major Australian longitudinal studies for over 30 years and is an advisor to several international longitudinal studies. She has also had an ongoing engagement with the contributions of psychology to social issues: e.g. as the Australian Psychological Society’s inaugural Director of Social Issues, as a founder of its Psychology for Peace Interest Group, and as Co-Chair of the international Committee for the Psychological Study of Peace. Her current work focuses on the impact of the climate crisis on current and future generations of children. She is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development. She has over 200 publications.
Dr Emma Sciberras is also an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at Deakin University. She leads the ADHD research lab and Intervention Streams of the Deakin Child Study Centre and Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, Deakin University. She is also an honorary research fellow in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne.
Charles Le Feuvre is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist in private practice in Melbourne. He was Chair of the Psychotherapy Section of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. He has been interested in psychological and other perspectives on the natural environment and climate change for many years.
For 10 years he has been involved with Psychology for a Safe Climate (PSC), a Melbourne based group which aims to support people emotionally in facing the climate reality. He is Deputy Executive Director. He has been involved in running workshops and speaking and writing on their behalf. PSC is currently involved in setting up a Climate Aware Practitioner Network within Australia.
Dr. Julian Fernando is Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Deakin University. His area of expertise is social psychology and he has research interests in utopian thinking and social change, and pro-environmental attitudes and behaviour.
Marco is a young climate and environmental activist who contributed to starting the School Strike for Climate movement in Australia. He recently co-authored “Children and youth in the climate crisis”
in the British Journal of Psychiatry Bulletin (2021) with Professor Ann Sanson.