There is growing consensus that climate change affects not only our physical health, but also our mental health. The American Psychological Association’s 2017 report lists multiple acute and chronic mental health impacts stemming from climate change, ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, substance abuse, and feelings of helplessness to loss of social identity, antisocial behaviour, and hostility.
Multiple universities have developed new curricula to equip students and faculty with the competencies to deal with this emerging challenge.
- This summer, Johns Hopkins launched a 1 credit course titled Climate Change and Mental Health.
- Last year, the Yale School of Public Health introduced an 18-week course dedicated to Climate Change and Health.
- In 2016, the University of California, San Francisco trained its faculty to update curricula and include mental and physical health effects of climate change.
Faculty are making a concerted effort to keep pace with the research community and meet student demands. It shows that top universities are committed to preparing students for future challenges by keeping their curricula relevant. It’s hopeful that other universities will follow in their footsteps and give precedence to both the physical and mental health risks of climate change.