Young People and Eco-Anxiety
People often become anxious when they perceive a threat. Many kinds of anxiety are common among youth. Young people often have faster and wider interaction with the world through social media, than older generations, which can exacerbate anxiety by multiplying the perception of threats around them. Young people can also be more susceptible to threats than older generations, simply because they have younger minds.
Environmental destruction and climate change are not short-term threats which are going to be resolved any time soon. So, waiting for these threats to go away, will not resolve our eco-anxiety. It can only be resolved by finding personal ways to accept and cope with these threats. Young people rightly feel more threatened by environmental issues than older generations, because they have their whole lives ahead, whereas older generations have often lived most of their lives with a high level of environmental security. Young people are the main stakeholders of the future, so although anyone can be eco-anxious, youth are especially vulnerable.
News & Views
As Australia’s most extensive bushfire crisis continues and areas across the country remain at risk, the mental health fallout is becoming more apparent. Psychologists report that people are shocked by the widespread devastation, and their fear of the fires, concern about health impacts from smoke and distress about the vast amount of wildlife killed are all fuelling ‘eco-anxiety’ – worry and grief about our environmental crisis – in the wider population. For the thousands of Australians evacuated from the path of …
Britt Wray, radio broadcaster and science communicator, says: “For all that’s ever been said about climate change, we haven’t heard nearly enough about the psychological impacts of living in a warming world”. In this short talk, Britt explores how climate change is threatening our well-being – mental, social and spiritual – and offers a starting point for what we can do about it. Britt also runs workshops which explore issues of eco-anxiety, environmental justice, and bio-ethics, described on her website.
The Long Now Foundation, home of 'The 'Clock of the Long Now', fosters ideas and projects based on long-term thinking, the next 10,000 years.
We’re leading the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, to be resilient whatever the challenges.
A map of the UK showing theraputic services for climate-anxiety and eco-anxiety, plus related resources.
Is a conspiracy theory true, or false, or undecided? This website looks at some key theories, present and past, and provides the evidence.
A new forum for people to share their eco-anxious stories with others. By sharing, you may provide comfort and solidarity for others.
Facebook page, a safe haven for planet caregivers who are tired, scared or need support. A forum for positivity, strengthening, and community-building.
Group chats about anything that's on your mind, for fun and a chance to unwind, a judgement-free zone Sun-Thu, 8:00-9:30pm.
Creating experiences, places, and media which express responses to climatic and ecological change, for communities mostly in NY City.
Download this guide (pdf) on how to explain climate change and its impacts to children. Produced by The Climate Reality Project.
Ten kid-friendly yoga poses and breathing techniques to help ease anxious young minds. Balloon breaths, sandwich, cat/cow, down-dog, tree, reclining butterfly, etc!
Worldwide network for nature and forest therapy, with online guides and resource materials. Also introducing 'forest bathing' (shinrin-yoku)