General Article Young people around the world report high levels of climate anxiety

Topic Selected: Anxiety Book Volume: 422

In the past few years, the effects of climate change have become undeniably apparent.

By Emma Barratt

In the last two years alone, headlines have been full of climate disasters – from forest fire smoke turning San Francisco’s sky luminous red, to torrential flooding in Germany and China.

In the face of events like this, anxiety and fear about climate change is undoubtedly increasing. Far from being indicative of mental illness, climate anxiety (also known as eco-anxiety or climate distress) more neatly fits under the banner of ‘practical anxiety’: fear that motivates change to help us respond to threats. Even though this in itself is useful, the experiences of fear can be unrelenting, and have serious consequences for mental health and functioning.

Young people are more at risk than those from older generations; an uncertain and dangerous climate situation poses the most risk to their futures, after all.

It’s with this in mind that Caroline Hickman and colleagues at the University ...

Would you like to see the rest of this article and all the other benefits that Issues Online can provide with?

Sign up now for an immediate no obligation FREE TRIAL and view the entire collection