Research Seminar: The Mental Health Impacts of the Climate Crisis
February 10, 2020
February 10, 2020
The Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University will be welcoming Dr. David Pollack to share his research in a seminar on February 13th, The Mental Health Impacts of the Climate Crisis.
Climate change has led to increased extreme weather events, intense heat, ocean acidification, air pollution, and biodiversity losses at alarming rates. While the physical health impacts may be obvious, the less visible mental health impacts are significant and alarming.
The presentation will cover topics involving mental health and climate, exploring how humans are affected. Evidence demonstrates increasing incidence and exacerbation of acute and chronic emotional distress and illness. Psychiatric patients, by virtue of their illnesses, socioeconomic status and medications, possess particular vulnerabilities to climate impacts. It will explore the impacts of heat on aggression, violence and suicide; the impacts of air pollution on anxiety, developmental disorders and dementia; and the broader impacts of acute traumatic events as well as the pervasive reality and immediacy of the climate crisis on generalized eco-anxiety, “nature deficit disorder” and ecological grief. It will conclude with discussion of recommended interventions at the individual, clinical and public health levels.
David A. Pollack, M.D., is a psychiatrist and Professor Emeritus for Public Policy at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). He is a founding member of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance and represents two major psychiatric organizations on the steering committee of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, and serves on the OHSU Sustainability Steering Committee.