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Is Eco-Anxiety Real?

More than 45% of young people in a survey of 10 countries said their feelings about climate change “negatively affected their daily life and functioning”. The negative impact on mental health as a result of climate change has been coined as ‘Eco-Anxeity’ as climate change is fuelling a mental health ‘eco-anxiety’ crisis among children and young people, some of it fuelled by social media and much by a feeling of powerlessness. While there has been debate in the medical community about the exact definition, there is consensus that uncertainty and uncontrollability fuel eco-anxiety.

The most important thing you can do for yourself, your colleagues, and the young people you work with is determine positive ways in which we process these emotions, and shift the focus from inaction, to meaningful action. But first, we must recognise that individual action is not the way to combat eco-anxiety, or climate change. 

It is also important to focus on the positive changes that are happening as a result of climate action, and share these. Happy Eco News, is a website which shares stories of positive climate action, news, and updates on climate movements. Be sure to sign up to the Happy Eco News newsletter and share within your youth work settings to relieve some of those tense, negative, and isolating feelings brought on by eco-anxiety.

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