Mental Health

Health   Mar 24, 2017 by Morgan Layton

Never give up on someone with a mental illness. When "I" is replaced by "we", illness becomes wellness. ~Shannon L. Alder

How is mental Health affected by climate change? 

Do you ever just look outside and see that it's raining or that it's to cold or something that just kind of makes you sad? Do you have those other days when it's super nice outside and it's hot and sunny so you call up all of your friends to hang out? It is a proven fact that illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder and general anxiety can be increased by the weather or the environment.  Here's an a small example: a couple summers ago my community was evacuated because of forest fires. Coming back and looking at the scenery made me sad because a lot was lost. People with depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or bipolar disorder would have probably felt what I did but on a much larger scale. Then looking at the media  after the fact you see all this damage and people are saying that this was caused by climate change. To prevent climate change you must lower your carbon footprint but that costs money. Low income family can't do anything to help and that can cause stress which is not good for you mental health. Being in this class and learning about climate change and its consequences makes me a little scared for the future. Is climate change affecting your mental health and how?

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8 Comment(s)

Jessica Karafilov
Apr 7, 2017

Hey Morgan,

So I came across this article yesterday and thought about you:

Did you come across this term in your research?


Jessica (program assistant @ GreenLearning)

Najwa Sharif
Mar 31, 2017

Amazing blog! I found it very interesting that you related climate change to something very personal. I find it kind of similar to mines due to the fact that i also talk about how climate change affect behaviors of not humans but animals, birds in particular . I read a very interesting Times article on mental health and its link to climate change. Here's the link:

Good luck with the rest of your research!

Mar 26, 2017

Hey Morgan,

I’m sorry to hear about your forest fire. I am also little scared for the future of how climate affects us and how it could continue to affect people's’ moods and such. Personally climate change hasn't affected me mentally and I wouldn't want anyone to feel that way. What you can do to make things a bit better is maybe having a garden house near your local community center, that way regardless of the weather and season when you’re feeling a little down you could go and look at the pretty flowers. Check out this website and it could probably help you with your research. Best of luck!

Mar 26, 2017

Hey Morgan, great analysis! I totally agree with you, I too sometimes feel depressed due to the weather. The weather is able to effect us indirectly and directly. I have experienced depression when I am kept inside the house for a extended period of time. The weather can sometimes cause unnecessary stress and people suffer from that at a constant rate. I also agree with you on the fact that low income families are not able to do much, they are already struggling with their current liabilities, adding anything more to that will create additional unnecessary stress and financial struggles. I am researching on the topic of the importance of animals which has a somewhat similar/relatable idea to the weather, as the weather affects the habitats and daily actions of animals. Keep up the good work! Cheers

Mar 24, 2017

This is a wonderful post ! despite all the physical health effects that is caused by climate change, we totally shadow the mental portion to this. I can relate to how the weather can definitely change your mood. Mental health is very important in one's life and I feel like it is not spoken about as much in any climate change platform. It is so shocking that climate change can be associated with mental health. 

I am also focusing on health and am very impressed that you got rid of the entire idea that climate change is driven to physical health only, when in reality its what affects us mentally. What are some ways we can improve the mental health on those rainy days?

- Ayub ( Runnymede CI)

Morgan Layton
Mar 29, 2017

The best things for your mental health is sunlight. Obviously when it's rainy it's probably not all that sunny out and you probably don't want to go outside. It's a proven fact that rain can cause pain/sadness. Rain makes you think about the past. In these situations to cheer yourself you can either do something you enjoy doing. Example: read a book, play and game, hang out with a friend etc. Something else you can do is just keep yourself busy and be productive that way when you get lots of stuff done around the house you will feel proud and not so sad.

Mar 24, 2017

Forest fires do cause a lot of damage to property and to nature so it's really quite sad. Please do you have any stories to share of how people were able to cope in terms of their mental health with the evacuation due to forest fires in your community? I am curious to know how your community adjusted to the effects of climate change. Is the community doing anything to plan for the short or long term against future occurrences of forest fires?

Mar 24, 2017

This is a beautiful post. I love how you talked about so many factors of what is or could be causing mental illness. It was refreshing to see this post because not many people seem to link climate change with mental illness. Mental illness should be more widely educated and paired with the effects of climate change because climate change is a very prominent leading factor in mental health.

Jennifer Nguyen
Mar 24, 2017

I really like how you thought of the mental health, rather than the physical health. A lot of people tend to forget the importance of mental health and care more for the physical health. I am also researching about the health aspect and how it'll be affected by climate change and your post reminded me about the seasonal affective disorder and how it can also affect mental health. My inquiry is more on the physical health, rather than the mental health but now, I think I'd like to also research more about mental health. I am curious about the effects of mental health when areas are too hot. The sun does automatically give us a lift in mood but climate change in terms of global warming, what happens when an area is way too hot? Also, to what extent would our mentality decline with climate change? 

Mar 26, 2017

Hello Jennifer,

If you are interested in researching the connection between climate change and physical health then maybe this article might be of interest to you. Check it out here:

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