The American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica present Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Children and Youth Report 2023
On October 25, the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica presented their Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Children and Youth Report 2023 to members of the US House and Senate. After passionate opening remarks and calls to action from Senator Markey, ecoAmerica and the American Psychological Association reported on the effects of climate change on children’s mental health, the structural inequities that lead to some populations bearing greater impacts, and solutions to support the mental health of children and youth on individual, community, and national levels.
Panelists: Meighen Speiser, Executive Director, ecoAmerica; Dennis Stolle, American Psychological Association; Susan Clayton, PhD, Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology, College of Wooster; Aishah-Nyeta Brown, Social Media Manager, Good Energy Stories and Gen-Z Advisor, Climate Mental Health Network; Nicole Hill, MPH, Research and Marketing Manager, ecoAmerica; and, Ben Fulgencio-Turner, MPP, Director, Climate for Health.
Panelists reported on several critical findings, including:
- The impacts of climate change on mental health begin before birth, potentially derailing the normal development of cognitive abilities, emotional skills, and physiological systems in ways that are sometimes irreversible.
- The list of possible climate change-related mental health struggles expands and becomes more profound by age.
- Youth and young adults are experiencing high levels of anxiety about accelerating environmental destruction and inadequate solutions and action to solve the problem.
- There is a wide range of solutions to support children and youth mental health, including at the systems level.
The report contains over 200 peer-reviewed references plus resources to help empower a wider audience to action with useful insights and guidance. The goal is for people to take action to overcome the climate crisis, support children and youth, and ensure a future in which they can thrive.
Please reach out to Jennifer Giordano with inquiries, interview, or briefing requests.