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Climate Change and Mental Health

  • Climate Change and Health (C Golden, Section Editor)
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Purpose of Review

This essay reviews evidence for the current and potential effects of climate change on mental health.

Recent Findings

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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Correspondence to Susan Clayton.

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Clayton, S. Climate Change and Mental Health. Curr Envir Health Rpt 8, 1–6 (2021).

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