Purpose of Review
This essay reviews evidence for the current and potential effects of climate change on mental health.
A growing body of research demonstrates not only that the extreme weather events associated with a changing climate can impair mental health, in particular leading to increases in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, but also that more gradual changes in climatic conditions, such as rising temperatures and reduced air quality, are also harmful to mental health. In addition, there is increasing evidence that a significant proportion of people might be experiencing a harmful level of anxiety associated with their perception of climate change.
Mental health impacts of climate change have the potential to affect a significant proportion of the population. More research is needed to document the extent of these impacts as well as the best options for mitigating and treating them.
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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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Conflict of Interest
The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.
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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Climate Change and Health