At every mobilization Young people around the world are protesting against climate change And against those responsible for polluting our environment, we can see the great power that new generations have to put on the agenda a problem that affects the entire population of the planet.
But many of those youths have the same sentiment to raise their voice and protest worry And Depression Because they feel that the older generation has failed them, and that they will pay the full price for the consequences of climate change at the expense of their own future.
A new generation feels affected by climate change, which is currently showing them a mental crisis. According to a recent US report, the number of students reporting persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness has increased by 40%.
He Dr. Christopher Lemon, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine He noted that extreme weather events such as the Covid pandemic can have similar effects on mental health.
“Unfortunately, climate change is going to make many of these mental health conditions worse. And not just for people with previous diagnoses of anxiety and depression, but also for people who didn’t have them,” the doctor said in the interview. Health TV.
consequences Environmental crisisAnd they are fueled by devastating fires, storm surges, droughts and poor air quality “Climate Anxiety” Among Young People. This is indicated in the report of health officials of the state of Oregon Published In a statement highlighting the sentiments of Anguish, anger and frustration among young people at the inaction of adults and governments.
At a press conference held by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). Three young people talked about climate change Due to this his mental health is affected. When the Alameda Fire devastated an area near her hometown of Ashland in southwestern Oregon in September 2020, high school student Mira Saturan expressed the fear she felt. More than 2,500 houses were destroyed in the fire.
“It was a horrible, stressful couple of days when the details of the fire became known,” said 16-year-old Saturan. His fear is compounded by the fact that his father works in the fire department. He battled the fire for more than 36 hours.It really scared me.
The report highlights that marginalized communities will suffer the worst health impacts of climate change, and “a growing body of research shows. Similar burdens in terms of mental health”. Mia Vicki, another Ashland High School student, echoed this. “For me, it’s important to mention that I’m Indigenous,” he said. The 16-year-old’s mother is from Yurok, an indigenous community in northern California along the Pacific coast and the Klamath River.
“In my mother’s generation, when I grew up, I would go to traditional festivals and eat the smoked salmon traditionally caught by our people in our river, where we have fished since ancient times. I have rarely eaten that fish in my life, and I have seen that smoked salmon at our feasts. It is a spiritual, emotional and physical metaphor How it stresses me and how it affects me” Vicky added.
Climate change and the coronavirus pandemic have exacerbated an already dangerous mental health crisis among young people. Number of high school students Feelings of sadness or hopelessness increased by 40% between 2009 and 2019; According to a surgical public notice from Dec.
Citing national studies, the same document noted that the suicide rate among youth aged 10 to 24 increased by 57% between 2007 and 2018.
The study’s lead author, Julie Earley Cifuentes of the OHA Climate and Health Program, explained that she hopes her work “creates conversations in families, schools and communities and serves as a basis for making policy decisions.”
A census University of Bath, United Kingdom showed signs of ecoanxiety. Of the nearly 5,000 respondents, 19% were students and 25% were employees They declared that they were “very concerned” about climate change, 36% and 33% said they were “very worried”. Concerns about the climate were higher compared to the results of their survey last year.
The survey was completed by 4,764 respondents representing 41% of university staff and 14% of students. The consultation was commissioned by the Climate Action Group, and the methodology and results were analyzed by researchers Lorraine Whitmarsh, Paul Hagar and Galoyan Mittev.
Accordingly Stephanie CollierDirector of Education in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at McLean Hospital and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, USA, “Environmental anxiety is not a mental illness. “It’s a concern rooted in uncertainty about the future and alerts us to the dangers of a changing climate.”
“It’s normal to feel anxious and fearful” about the effects of climate change, says Collier. Additionally, weather anxieties are often accompanied by feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, and shame, which can affect mood, behavior, and thinking.
According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, two-thirds of Americans experience some form of climate anxiety. According to a published study The Lancet, 84% of children and young people between the ages of 16 and 25 are at least moderately concerned about climate change, and 59% are very or very concerned.
Children and young people are right to be concerned. “This makes sense because children and young people disproportionately experience the effects of climate change,” Collier said.
A statement UNICEF calculation 1 billion children will be “at very high risk” as a result of climate change. Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the effects of chronic stress, and climate anxiety can increase the risk of developing depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders.
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