Impact of Climate Change on Individual and Community Mental Health

Authors

  • Emaan Fatima Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.59926/jodprp.vol06/06

Keywords:

Climate Change, Mental Health, Heat Waves, Natural Disasters, Resilience

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of the current and prospective climate change-related risks and impacts on individual and community mental health, as outlined by studies from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, and Pakistan, in addition to a few European countries from 2000 to January 2022. It argues three major points, first, certain vulnerabilities exist with regards to which populations are most atrisk of experiencing poor psychological well-being. The main vulnerabilities and risk factors highlighted in the paper are low socioeconomic background, young age, and communities having close cultural and working relationships with the environment. Second, climate change-induced natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and heatwaves can have several impacts on mental health, mainly due to worsening physical health, disruption of community cohesion, and forced relocation. The concept of community resilience is also discussed. Finally, the relationship between heat waves and increased psychological fatigue and feelings of hostility is also explored, linked with rising crime rate which can further impact individual and community mental health. It was concluded that climate change impacts individual and community mental health in many ways and that certain gaps in knowledge, such as the factors influencing the severity of this impact and the reasons behind the existence of vulnerabilities among populations, need to be addressed and incorporated into future action. Moreover, adaptive action needs to be taken in preparing societies for the impact of climate change. This includes increasing accessibility to quality mental healthcare and creating protective legal frameworks for those who are disproportionately affected by interpersonal violence during and after climate-related natural disasters.

The scope of this article is related to the following SDG / SDGs.

 

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Author Biography

Emaan Fatima, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan

 

 

 

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Published

2022-12-31

How to Cite

Fatima, E. (2022). Impact of Climate Change on Individual and Community Mental Health. Journal of Development Policy, Research & Practice, 6(1), 85–103. https://doi.org/10.59926/jodprp.vol06/06