America is facing one of the greatest opportunities for leadership in our history. We can bring forward ambitious, effective, and equitable climate solutions that support mental and physical health and well-being. Solutions are at hand, and a majority of Americans support action to ensure a healthy future for ourselves and our children. America has the wherewithal to lead our nation and the world to ensure that the social determinants of health — and mental health — are supported versus hindered by the state of our climate, communities, and natural places.
The American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica are pleased to offer Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Inequities, Responses. This report is an update to the 2017 report, Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance. It shares the latest and best knowledge on the many ways that climate change impacts mental health individually and community-wide, how structural inequities cause certain populations to be impacted first and worst, and the spectrum of solutions available to build resilience, strengthen care, and inspire engagement for transformative progress. It is intended to further inform and empower health and medical professionals, community and elected leaders, and the public to understand and act on solutions to climate change that will support mental health and well-being.
It is past time to focus attention on the far reaching toll climate change is already taking on our mental health, as the economic, political, environmental and health implications of climate change affect all of us. It is time to face feelings of helplessness, fatalism, and resignation that may be keeping us and our nation from properly addressing the core causes of climate change and bringing forth solutions.
Now is the time to care for our mental health and our climate, and we can.
On behalf of the authors, the many professionals who contributed directly and indirectly to this work, and all those involved in expanding awareness, and action, thank you for taking the time to review and share this important resource. We invite your participation in efforts to prepare, protect, and heal — our mental health and our climate — and in the work of the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica along these same goals.
ecoAmerica builds institutional leadership, public support, and political resolve for climate solutions in the United States. We help national mainstream organizations elevate their climate leadership, providing them strategy, tools and resources to: demonstrate visible climate leadership, empower climate literacy, engage all constituents, and build collective action and advocacy. We help our partners transform into national climate leaders who inspire others on solutions. ecoAmerica.org
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