Study Suggests Climate Change may Significantly Impact Mental Health

Events and challenging situations of all kinds are apt to contribute to global levels of stress and uneasiness, but there are some world issues that can have a greater effect on mental health than others. Climate change, in particular, may be responsible for seriously influencing the lives of those with pre-existing mental health concerns, suggests a study published online in the journal Psychological Medicine. The research, which was sponsored by King’s College London and proposes the need for in-depth discussion of potential mental health complications at next week’s climate change conference in Copenhagen, conducted reviews of the mental health consequences of natural disasters, and discussed the ability of rising temperatures to create various concerns for mental health clients.

The study linked climate change to the occurrence of natural disasters, which are often responsible for traumatic life events capable of causing and exacerbating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. Noting that those who are already affected by such a concern are likely to experience significant distress in the event of natural disasters, the research points to the need for greater care access and scope in the anticipation of future climate change-related global events. The study also suggested that because many mental health clients struggle with physical health symptoms as well, they may be more susceptible to rising temperatures, causing a greater demand for health care professionals in nearly every field.

The potential for climate change to effect global mental health in terms of both clients and services may not be the focal point of the upcoming UN conference in Copenhagen, but the study provides support for those hoping it will be discussed with due attention and respect.

© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • colin.s


    December 7th, 2009 at 10:47 AM

    climate changes resulting in natural calamities will not only add to the suffering of existing mental health patients but will also create a lot more of such patients.this is because such balconities are bound to claim lives of family members and also property of a lot of people which will in turn affect their mental health.although i had not thought about this earlier,i strongly stand by your point and hope that this idea gets a broader audience and spreads awareness among as many people as possible.

  • Grace


    December 7th, 2009 at 4:03 PM

    How odd that there seems to be a correlation between these issues. Now that is one I never would have even thought of!



    December 8th, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    Yet another reason for world leaders to make sure we prevent further degradation of the environment at any cost!

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