Sustaining Climate Activists Resources
MENTAL HEALTH – Resources for Coping
Sustaining Climate Activists – SOCAN’s local support group in Medford OR. Meets monthly on a drop-in basis.
Good Grief Network – GGN is an innovative peer support network for processing and integrating the uncertainty and grief that the climate and wider eco-crisis can awaken in people. Based on Alcoholics Anonymous, this group format moves participants through a 10-step program in which key topics are processed in a supportive setting. Join a group or train as a facilitator.
Gen Dread – A newsletter by Dr. Britt Wray about staying sane in the climate and wider ecological crisis. This link connects with her article on “Resources for working with climate emotions.”
The Work That Reconnects – Website for the work of Buddhist and systems theorist Joanna Macy with Molly Brown. TWTR helps people discover and experience their innate connections with each other and the self-healing powers of the web of life, transforming despair and overwhelm into inspired, collaborative action. See their – now classic – book Coming back to Life – the updated guide on the work that reconnects.
Stress Reduction Tips (2016) Compiled by Ken Deveney using suggestions from Undress Stress for Success by Lois Levy and other sources
Climate and Mind – A compilation of resources to explore how climate change impacts our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Videos, audio, books, articles, group facilitation.
Global Optimism – Home website for Stubborn Optimism – Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac and Paul Dickinson take you behind the scenes of the politics, investments and actions that are meeting the climate crisis head on.
Facing It Podcast – This series introduces ways to move from despair to action by addressing the psychological roots of our unprecedented ecological loss. Hosted by Dr. Jennifer Atkinson, Associate Professor of environmental humanities at the University of Washington, Bothell.
Climate Change and Happiness Podcast – Hosted by Clinical and environmental psychologist Thomas Doherty (Portland OR) and climate emotions scholar Panu Pihkala (Helsinki, Finland.) For people around the globe who are thinking deeply about the personal side of climate change, particularly their emotional responses and their feelings.
MENTAL HEALTH – Articles and Reports
Mental Health and Our Changing Climate – Impacts, Inequities, Responses 2021 Edition – The report, an update to the 2017 report issued by American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica, is intended to inform and empower health and medical professionals, community and elected leaders and the public to pursue solutions to climate change that will support mental health and well-being.
The impact of climate change on mental health and emotional wellbeing: current evidence and implications for policy and practice. Grantham Institute Briefing paper No 36. May 2021 E. Lawrance et al. – This briefing, and accompanying animation, shows how climate change is negatively affecting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of people around the world, with a detailed set of recommendations to all sectors including policy makers, research institutions and mental health practitioners.
Four Lessons Psychology Teaches Us About Inspiring Climate Action (Feb 5, 2018) Climate Reality Project
Environmental Scientists Want Help Coping With Their Grief (Nov 2, 2019) by Marlene Cimons in EcoWatch/Nexus Media
It’s the End of the World as They Know It: The distinct burden of being a climate scientist (July 8, 2019) Story by David Corn; Photos by Devin Yalkin
Solastalgia: the distress caused by environmental change (2007) Australas Psychiatry, by Glenn Albrecht et al – Original study that developed the term “Solastalgia,” a concept developed to give greater meaning and clarity to environmentally induced distress.
What Is Solastalgia and How Is It Measured? SOS, a Validated Scale in Population Exposed to Drought and Forest Fires (2022) Cristian Cáceres et al, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health – This academic study developed the first “Scale of Solastalgia” (SOS) for measuring Albrecht’s original posit of two different dimensions: solace (comfort or consolation provided by the physical home) and algia (pain).
Climate change and mental health: risks, impacts and priority actions (2018) Hayes K, Blashki G, Wiseman J, Burke S, Reifels L. International Journal of Mental Health Systems – an overview of the current and projected climate change risks and impacts to mental health with recommendations for priority actions to address the mental health consequences of climate change.
TedTalk: How to turn climate anxiety into action (March 2020) Dr. Renée Lertzman (13:57) A discussion of psychological concepts and skills to accompany us through the climate crisis: window of tolerance, double-binds, attunement.
Climate Collapse: I’ve just found out how bad things are. What now? How to avoid falling into a pit of despair and hopelessness (Aug 9, 2021) by Gwyneth Jones, Age of Awareness.
Climate change anxiety: How to stop spiraling and make a difference (July 11, 2021) by Rebecca Ruiz, Mashable.
How to take breaks from the climate crisis without living in denial – A conversation with Dr. Panu Pihkala (January 2023) Gen Dread newsletter by Dr. Britt Wray including Pikhala’s visual model for Living with the Ecological Crisis
Toward a Taxonomy of Climate Emotions (Jan 2022) Frontiers of Climate – (Climate Risk Management Journal) by Panu Pikhala – an academic article about a preliminary taxonomy of climate emotions, based on literature reviews and philosophical discussion. This is a pretty dense research article, so for a simpler and powerful summary of the taxonomy, see the article on it by Britt Wray in her February 2022 Blog Gen Dread
Climate Anxiety Is an Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon (March 21, 2021) Scientific American, by Sarah Jaquette Ray – The writer asks why climate anxiety is a predominantly White mental health experience. She asks the question: Is climate anxiety just code for white people wishing to hold onto their way of life or get “back to normal,” and she notes that this is just a step away from xenophobia and fascism.
The lost summer’: the emotional and spiritual toll of the smoke apocalypse (Aug 21, 2018) by Sharon J. Riley. The Narwhal.
Understanding the Spectrum of Anxiety Responses to Climate Change: A Systematic Review of the Qualitative Literature (January 2022) International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, by Catriona Soutar and Anne P.F. Wand – The primary aim of this study was to systematically review the qualitative literature regarding the scope of anxiety responses to climate change. The secondary aim was to investigate the sociodemographic and geographical factors which influence experiences of climate change anxiety.
Climate change is impacting mental health in North America: A systematic scoping review of the hazards, exposures, vulnerabilities, risks and responses (April 2022) International Review of Psychiatry, Breanne Aylward et al – This scoping review systematically examined the nature, range and extent of published research in North America that investigates climate-mental health interactions.
Temperature impacts on hate speech online: evidence from 4 billion geolocated tweets from the USA (Sept 2022) Lancet Planetary Health, Annika Stechemesser et al – An examination of the effect of temperature on the occurrence of hate speech on the social media platform Twitter and interpret the results in the context of the interlinkage between climate change, human behaviour, and mental health.
#NotT00Late is a project and book (release 2023) led by Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua to invite newcomers to the climate movement, as well as provide climate facts and encouragement for people who are already engaged but weary. Has a strong resource section of encouraging articles, including this one by Solnit and in a podcast version.
Coping with climate anxiety: 9 tips for personal resilience. (April 8, 2022) The Optimist Daily – Simple article summary of key concepts.
Mental Health – Youth
Climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses to climate change: a global survey (Dec 2021) Academic Study. The Lancet Planetary Health, by Hickman, Caroline et al. This is a landmark, first large-scale investigation of climate anxiety in 10,000 children and young people globally and its relationship with perceived government response.
Seat at the Table – Let’s Talk About Climate Anxiety – (Silverback Films and YouTube Originals) features creator Jack Harries in a two-episode video series about climate anxiety and youth. Episode 3 is a compilation of voices from Youth around the world who talk about climate anxiety and the power of hope.
Climate Change and Youth Mental Health – 2022 Report by Oregon Health Authority. PDF. 37 pages.
Coping with climate change: Advice for kids — from kids – November 17, 2022 – a 7-minute NPR audio.
A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet, (Book) (April 2020) University of California Press, by Sarah Jacquette Ray – Gen Z’s first “existential toolkit” for combating eco-guilt and burnout while advocating for climate justice.
Our Climate – Website. A national organization that empowers young people to advocate for the science-based, equitable and intersectional climate justice policies that build a thriving world. They engage and train youth from affected communities and groups to participate in broad and diverse advocacy coalitions, centering those most impacted by climate change to dismantle systemic oppression and achieve systemic change.
Youth Era – (Website) Youth Era partnered with The University of Oxford to create and launch Uplift, a virtual mental-health training for Youth.
Climate Mental Health Network – (Website) We address the mental health consequences of climate change through education, community engagement and by harnessing the power of media and technology. Has a focus on educational projects and GenZ.
Mochi4thePlanet – a youth-led evidence-based movement for emotional resilience.
How to talk with kids about climate change (2020) Yale Climate Connections, by Daisy Simmons – By talking about the issue openly and honestly, parents – precisely the information source children most trust – can help prepare their children to stay resilient and find meaning through climate change. A 6-point guide.