Climate change is harming my mental health

2023-06-06 21:54:47  • 5 mins

By Morven Mckinnon

BBC Scotland News

Until two years ago Jennifer Newall was working at the forefront of climate change research.

Her PhD on melting ice sheets and changing sea levels had taken her to Antarctica, Scandinavia and the USA but it was while leading a workshop for primary school children in Glasgow that she began to question what she was doing.

"It dawned on me," she says. "The physics behind this haven't changed in my lifetime. They're not going to change going forward."

Jennifer says she realised action was needed urgently and she no longer had the passion or motivation to continue studying the effects.

She put her career on hold in order to take more direct action but she found the scale of the challenge overwhelming.

  • How can I deal with anxiety about climate change?
  • 'Eco-anxiety': how to spot it and what to do about it
  • How can we help kids cope with 'eco-anxiety'?

Jennifer is one of a growing number of people who have experienced "eco-anxiety" - a chronic sense of hopelessness and fear of environmental doom.

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