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Climate Impact on Mental Health 2023

photo of brown bare tree on brown surface during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Climate extremes and severe events have resulted in anxiety for young people concerned about their future. Young people may have a feeling of doom when considering social unrest, political unrest, and extreme environmental events.

In addition to these concerns, there are additional stresses for climate migrants who have been displaced from their homes dues to floods, fires, tornados, hurricanes, groundwater scarcity, and rising waters in some areas.

This document provides news and information relating to the impact of climate extremes on mental health and wellbeing.


As with any social issue, there will be an opposing view or group of deniers. Once an issue becomes politicized and polarizing, rational analysis and discussion becomes difficult. Unfortunately, there are people who refuse to believe that floods, fires, tornados, and other weather extreme events exist. The comments and responses to a recent clip about climate reflect those opposing views. [View Clip]


Entries below are in chronological order with the most recent at the top. Source and date are in the entry heading.

CBC News (18 Aug 2023)

“Experts warn about effects of evacuations on mental health” — Experts say evacuating one’s home because of the threat of natural disasters can lead to long-term mental health issues, such as depression and PTSD. [Source]

American Psychiatric Association (8 Mar 2022)

“How Climate Change Impacts Your Mental Health” — Climate change and related disasters cause anxiety-related responses as well as chronic and severe mental health disorders. Flooding and prolonged droughts have been associated with elevated levels of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorders. The trauma and losses from a disaster, such as losing a home or job and being disconnected from neighborhood and community, can contribute to depression and anxiety. [Source]

BBC (8 Jun 2021)

“How climate change can impact mental health” — Mitzi Jonelle Tan lives in the Philippines and has experienced numerous typhoons. She describes what she experiences as ‘climate trauma’ and how it has contributed to her having panic attacks and anxiety. [Source]

Johns Hopkins (12 May 2021)

“Climate Change and Mental Health” — Mental health impacts from climate change are largely thought of as acute exposures to extreme events like hurricanes and wildfires. But there are other concerns like chronic “ecological grief” and anticipated “eco-anxiety.” Dr. Jura Augustinavicius from the Center for Humanitarian Health talks with Stephanie Desmon about research at the intersection of mental and environmental health, and why something that is felt at an individual level needs to be addressed at the macro level of companies and governments. [Source]

BBC (20 Aug 2019)

“Climate change: Do you have eco-anxiety?” — Psychologists report a rise in people suffering from climate change anxiety or eco-anxiety. What’s it like? And what can you do to cope? [Source]

Harvard (9 Mar 2017)

“Climate change and mental health” — In part four of our series on climate change and health we explore how environmental changes may have wide-ranging effects on mental health around the world. [Source]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com