America is facing one of the greatest leadership opportunities in our history. We know that climate solutions are a health imperative. We can propose ambitious, effective and equitable climate solutions that support mental and physical health and well-being. Solutions are at hand and the majority of Americans support action to ensure a healthy future for ourselves and our children.
It is in this context that the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica are pleased to offer Mental health and climate change: impacts, inequalities, responses. This report is an update of the 2017 report, Mentally Health and climate change: impacts, implications and orientations. Shares the latest and best knowledge about the many ways climate change affects mental health individually and at the community level, how structural inequalities cause the earliest and worst impact on certain populations, and the spectrum of solutions available to build resilience, strengthen care and inspire commitment to transformative progress. It aims to deepen inform and empower health and medical professionals, community and elected leaders and the public to understand and act on climate change solutions that will support mental health and well-being.
The time has come to focus attention on the huge toll climate change is already taking on our mental health, as the economic, political, environmental and health implications of climate change affect us all. It is time to address feelings of helplessness, fatalism and resignation that could prevent us and our nation from adequately addressing the root causes of climate change and proposing solutions.
Now is the time to take care of our mental health and our climate, and we can do it.
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On behalf of the authors, the many professionals who have 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 the efforts to prepare, protect and heal – our mental health and climate – and the work of the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica along these same goals.
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