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Your Environment. Your Health.

Climate Change and Mental Health

Global Environmental Health

Woman looking at the lake and the mountians

Climate Change and Mental Health

October 2021

Experts: Susan D. Clayton, Ph.D., Katie Hayes, Ph.D., Joshua C. Morganstein, Ph.D.

In this three-part series we’ll hear from experts in the United States and Canada about the mental health effects of climate change, who are the populations affected, and some response strategies. This podcast includes a discussion about death and mentions suicide. For more information about these sensitive topics, please see podcast show notes on our website.

In this three-part series we’ll hear from experts in the United States and Canada about the mental health effects of climate change, who are the populations affected, and some response strategies. This podcast includes a discussion about death and mentions suicide. For more information about these sensitive topics, please see podcast show notes on our website.

Changes to our environment affect our everyday life, perceptions, and experiences. They can be gradual changes in temperature or precipitation as well as more abrupt changes, like extreme weather events. Both impact the way we think and feel. These effects of global climate change on mental health and well-being are a critical part to addressing the climate crisis and responding to its overall health impacts.

Susan D. Clayton

Susan D. Clayton, Ph.D., is the Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology at the College of Wooster in Ohio. She has a Ph.D. in social psychology from Yale University. Clayton’s research examines humans’ knowledge and attitudes about the environment, the effects of climate change on mental health, and issues of social and environmental justice. She has written extensively about psychology and climate change. Clayton serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Environmental Psychology, Sustainability, and the Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens, and is the editor of the Cambridge Elements series in Applied Social Psychology. She is a lead author on the forthcoming Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Joshua C. Morganstein

Joshua C. Morganstein, Ph.D., is Associate Professor and Assistant Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Assistant Director at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) in the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. He is a Captain in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. Morganstein received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and completed a combined residency in Psychiatry and Family Medicine in the National Capital Consortium in Washington, D.C. Morganstein leads the Disaster Mental Health education and consultation services at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress and provides mental health subject-matter expertise to federal and national organizations.

Katie Hayes

Katie Hayes, Ph.D., is a climate change and mental health researcher based in Canada. Her research explores the mental health consequences of climate change with a specific focus on addressing the inequitable risks and impacts on marginalized groups. Hayes has published a number of recent articles exploring the topic and she is currently leading the mental health and climate change chapter for the upcoming (Canadian) National Climate Change and Health Assessment Report being led by Health Canada.

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