Climate Change Affecting Canadian Mental Health

Researchers with the Mental Health and Climate Change Alliance (MHCCA) have reported that last summer’s heat dome over western North America significantly raised anxieties about climate change.

Their study, published in the Journal of Climate Change and Health, shows direct links between mental health concerns and climate change events. The heat dome is an example of this, as researchers found significantly higher climate change anxiety after the weather event.

They collected data from over 859 people over the age of 16. Their results after the heat dome showed:

  • average levels of climate change anxiety increased by approximately 13% among British Columbians after the heat dome
  • most reported they were much more (40%) or somewhat more (18%) worried about climate change
  • the number of people that felt their region would be affected by climate change weather events increased from 17% to approximately 30%
  • the number of people worried that their industry would be affected by climate change rose from 35% to 40%
  • most participants reported they were somewhat (40%) or greatly (17%) impacted by the heat dome

Kiffer Card, MHCCA director, says they will continue to monitor British Columbian levels of climate change anxiety. They hope to extend the organization’s research nationally and have applied for federal funding.

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