Ongoing ecological and climate crisis affects all life on Earth—human and more than human. Because so many factors are involved that include the destruction of ecosystems and loss of species as well as social, economic, and political issues, this is now being called the “polycrisis.” In the face of this global crisis, some humans are experiencing both acute and chronic mental health impacts broadly known as climate or eco-anxiety. The American Psychological Association points to several sources of eco-anxiety, from the “unrelenting day-by-day despair” that can occur during droughts to the stress that comes from “watching the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold, and worrying about the future for oneself, children, and later generations.”*
Victims of climate change are especially vulnerable and many have become climate refugees. Some people in the developed world may feel eco-anxiety because they are “deeply affected by feelings of loss, helplessness, and frustration due to their inability to feel like they are making a difference in stopping climate change.” This might develop into guilt as they consider how their own actions may have contributed to the current state of the environment. Psychologists are now acknowledging the extent to which internalizing ecological concerns and experiences truly affects human well-being.
Here you will find a wealth of resources in response to these challenges—resources dedicated to understanding and coping with global eco-anxiety and eco-grief both individually and as a human community.
*all quotes from the March 2017 report “Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance,” a collaboration of ecoAmerica, the American Psychological Association, and Climate for Health.
By Heather White. Harper Horizon, 2022.
Grounded: A Guided Journal to Help You Reconnect with the Power of Nature—and Yourself
By Patricia H. Hasbach. Simon & Schuster, 2022.
Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis
By Britt Wray. Penguin Random House, 2022.
Exploring Climate Change and Mental Health: An Educational Toolkit
By Natania Abebe. BCC Campus Pressbooks, 2022. Learn more here.
Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy
By Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. 10th anniversary edition. New World Library, 2022.
Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World
By Daniel Sherrell. Penguin, 2021.
Parenting in a Changing Climate: Tools for Cultivating Resilience, Taking Action, and Practicing Hope in the Face of Climate Change
By Elizabeth Bechard. Citrine Publishing, 2021.
All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal With Climate Change
Children’s book by Leslie Davenport. Illustrations by Jessica Smith. American Psychological Association, 2021.
World as Lover, World as Self
By Joanna Macy. 30th anniversary edition. Parallax Press, 2021.
A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety
By Sarah Jaquette Ray. University of California Press, 2020.
Words for a Dying World: Stories of Grief and Courage from the Global Church
Edited by Hannah Malcolm. SCM Press, 2020.
Climate Psychology: On Indifference to Disaster
Edited by Paul Hoggett. Springer, 2019.
Your Guide to Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature
By M. Amos Clifford. Red Wheel, 2018.
Emotional Resiliency in the Era of Climate Change: A Clinician’s Guide
By Leslie Davenport. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017.
Environmental Melancholia: Psychoanalytic Dimensions of Engagement
By Renee Lertzman. Routledge, 2016.
The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief
By Francis Weller. North Atlantic Books, 2015.
Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age
By Joanna Macy. New Society Publishers, 1983.
World Health Organization. 2022.
“Climate Change Sparks Emotional Responses: American Climate Perspectives Survey 2022. Vol II. Part II”
By M. Speiser, A. N. Hill, and K. Catalano. ecoAmerica. May 2022.
“Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Inequities, Responses”
By Susan Clayton, Christie Manning, Meighen Speiser, and Alison Hill. American Psychological Association, Climate for Health, and ecoAmerica. 2021.
“The Rise of Eco-anxiety”
By Sacha Wright, Vida Han, and Clover Hogan. Force of Nature. March 2021.
“Cooler Earth – Higher Benefits: Actions by those who care about children, climate and finance”
By Frederique Seidel and Emmanuel de Martel. 2nd edition. World Council of Churches. 2021.
By Lorraine Whitmarsh, Lois Player, Angelica Jiongco, Melissa James, Marc Williams, Elizabeth Marks, and Patrick Kennedy-Williams. Journal of Environmental Psychology 83 (October 2022).
“Climate Changes Mental Health”
By Nicole Hill and Robert Perkowitz. Journal of Environmental Health (July/August 2022): 38-39.
“Children and Climate Anxiety: An Ecofeminist Practical Theological Perspective”
By Joyce Ann Merce. Religions 13, no. 4 (March 31, 2022): 1-15.
“Social Media May Contribute to Eco-Distress: The Role of Nature Relatedness as Both Causal Mechanism and Protective Factor”
By Crystal Smith, Andrew Allen, and Lee Kannis-Dymand. Ecopsychology (March 2022): 17- 29.
“Toward a Taxonomy of Climate Emotions”
By Panu Pihkala. Frontiers in Climate. January 14, 2022.
“The Anatomy of Inaction – Climate Complexity Change”
“Climate Complexity Change,” unpsychology magazine, Issue 7, Spring 2021.
By Simon Lewsen. Toronto Star. September 14, 2022.
“SU students, professors discuss mental health toll of climate change studies”
By Ethan Chanin. Daily Orange. September 11, 2022.
“A new campus offering: Climate anxiety therapy”
By Ta’Leah Van Sistine. Washington Post. September 12, 2022.
“Stressed out about climate change? 4 ways to tackle both the feelings and the issues”
By Lisa Doggett. NPR. September 3, 2022.
“Climate anxiety an important driver for climate action, according to new study”
By University of Bath. Phys.org. September 2, 2022.
“The Land Mourns”
By Andi Lloyd. Christian Century. September 1, 2022.
“How Sound Can Help Soothe Eco-Anxiety”
By Daphne Chouliaraki Milner. Atmos. September 1, 2022
“Climate anxiety: 21 resources to energise you into action”
By Leah Das. Greenpeace. August 31, 2022.
“Edmonton climate activists use their ‘eco-grief’ as a tool for building communities”
By Anna Wdowczyk. CBC News. August 29, 2022.
“Climate change is worsening youth mental health, research shows”
By M.A. Jacquemain. The Weather Network. August 28, 2022.
“Climate anxiety on the rise for a ‘planet in peril’ ”
By Eleanor Mannion. RTE. August 27, 2022.
“Overcoming climate anxiety, one step at a time”
By Marc Light. Australian Jewish News. August 26, 2022.
“‘I feel my heart breaking today’ – a climate scientist’s path through grief towards hope”
By Joelle Gergis. The Conversation. August 25, 2022.
“What is a global polycrisis?”
By Scott Janzwood and Thomas Homer-Dixon. Cascade Institute. April 27, 2022.
“How can we help kids cope with ‘eco-anxiety’?”
By Josie Glausiusz. BBC. April 22, 2022.
“5 Things That Can Alleviate Your Eco-Anxiety”
By Dekila Chungyalpa. Psychology Today. April 19, 2022.
“The Unseen Toll of a Warming World”
By Sarah Kerr, Noah Throop, Jack Healy, Aidan Gardiner, and Rebecca Lieberman. New York Times. March 9, 2022.
“The best ways to teach and talk about climate change with kids”
By Mary Democker. Popular Science. February 23, 2022.
“Yale’s Happiness Professor Says Anxiety Is Destroying Her Students”
By David Marchese. New York Times. February 18, 2022.
“Can religion and faith combat eco-despair?”
By Rita Sherma. The Conversation. February 17, 2022.
“Climate Change Enters the Therapy Room”
By Ellen Barry. New York Times. February 6, 2022.
“Facing our Climate Feelings Together”
By Blair Nelsen. Earth & Altar. February 2, 2022.
“As COP26 gathers, faith-based environmentalists fight eco-grief”
By Elizabeth E. Evans. Religion News Service. EarthBeat. November 4, 2021.
“At 22, This Young Activist Has Found Ways To Channel Her Eco-Anxiety Into Action”
By Emily Chan. Vogue. November 1, 2021.
“Prioritizing Mental Wellness in Climate Change Education”
By Nicole Howard. Climate XChange. October 28, 2021.
“SCPN Spotlight: Jerilyn Lopez Mendoza on Climate Activism and Making Space for Self-Care”
By Kortni Washington. Climate XChange. October 27, 2021.
“How to Reduce Eco-Anxiety and Make Positive Change”
By Ilan Kelman. Psychology Today. October 25, 2021.
“How to Help Kids with Eco-Anxiety When ‘Fire Season’ Is A Thing”
By Brianne Hogan. She Knows. September 21, 2021.
“Specters of Sorrow: Eco-Grief, Ambiguous Loss, and Religious Creativity”
By Jacob J. Erickson. Counterpoint Knowledge. June 24, 2021.
“Why Emotionally Intelligent Climate Work Matters”
By Britt Wray. Gen Dread. January 6, 2021.
“COVID-19 Crisis Blog: Are we there yet? Beyond Apocalypse Fatigue and the New Normal”
By Jacob J. Erickson. Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin. May 26, 2020.
“A Climate Grief, Observed: Transforming Our Ecologies and Theologies of Magical Thinking”
By Jacob J. Erickson. Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. April 16, 2020.
“Climate grief: How we mourn a changing planet”
By Panu Pihkala. BBC. April 2, 2020.
“So Your Kids Are Stressed Out About the Climate Crisis”
By Mary DeMocker. Sierra. January 25, 2020.
“The Rise of Eco-Anxiety”
By Lauren Dockett. Psychotherapy Networker. January/February 2019.
With Heather White. PIX 11 News. September 19, 2022.
With Lisa Verni, LCSW LLC. Deeptime Network. September 13, 2022.
With Kathleen Dean Moore and Bob Haverluck. Spring Creek Project. June 1, 2022.
“Coping with ecoGrief: What It Is, How to Cope”
With Hannah Malcolm. ecoAmerica. April 8, 2022.
“Collective Trauma and Climate Change”
With Pat McCabe. Pocket Project @ COP26. November 3, 2021.
“How to turn climate anxiety into action”
With Renée Lertzman. TEDWomen. December 2019.
Interview with Patricia Hasbach by Lauren Dockett. Psychotherapy Networker. February 11, 2019.
“The Challenge of Climate Change”
interview with Thomas Hübl by Brian Weinberg. March 27, 2018.
With Renée Lertzman. TEDWomen. December 2019.
Podcast series with Thomas Doherty and Panu Pihkala
“How to Save A Planet”
Podcast series hosted by Alex Blumberg and Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
“Outrage and Optimism”
Podcast series hosted by Christina Figueres, Tom-Rivett Carnac, and Paul Dickinson
“Climate and You”
Podcast series hosted by Domyo Burk
“Environmental and climate change education, climate anxiety ahead of National Public Lands Day”
WGCU – PBS and NPR. September 20, 2022.
“Britain’s new PM, confronting eco-anxiety”
Green Biz. September 9, 2022.
“Seeds, Grief, and Memory”
With Rowen White. Finding Your Way. May 24, 2021.
“Tonglen for Eco-Anxiety”
Guided meditation with Dekila Chungyalpa. Center for Healthy Minds. University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Association of Nature & Forest Therapy
Eco-anxiety and Hope
Blog by Panu Pihkala
“Resources for working with climate emotions”
The All We Can Save Project. See also the “All We Can Save Circles.”
“Sukkot Eco-Grief Ritual: Spiritual Street Theater”
By Temple of the Stranger
Deep Adaptation Forum
Healing Circles Global
Online through the California Institute of Integral Studies
Russel Powell. Boston College. Fall 2021.