(NMSU) The daunting challenge of tackling climate change and the destruction of the environment already underway can fuel feelings of anxiety, depression and hopelessness.
The daunting challenge of tackling climate change and the destruction of the environment already underway can fuel feelings of anxiety, depression and hopelessness.
Jennifer Atkinson, associate professor of environmental humanities at the University of Washington, Bothell, has drawn national attention for focusing on this psychological phenomenon – what has been called eco-anxiety, climate grief and eco-distress – which is perhaps unique to our Anthropocene era. .
On October 20, Atkinson will host a virtual conference on his work, “Climate Anxiety, Grief and Hope: Moving from Angst to Action”. The 7-hour virtual lecture is offered free of charge through New Mexico State University’s Climate Change Education Seminar Series.
Atkinson will discuss healthy approaches to dealing with the stresses that arise from confronting the reality of climate change, to help those affected stay engaged in action.
âStaying committed to long-term climate solutions requires us to avoid emotional exhaustion; yet, when bombarded with so much bad news – mass extinction, dying oceans, displaced communities and burning forests – it’s easier said than done, âAtkinson said. âThis conference explores the mental health dimensions of climate change among students, scientists, activists and frontline communities, and shares practical strategies for building emotional resilience to channel desperation into meaningful action.â
Atkinson is working on a book called âAn Existential Toolkit for the Climate Crisis,â which offers strategies young people can use to deal with the emotional cost of tackling climate change. Atkinson has also produced a podcast, âFacing It,â which offers tools for channeling eco-anxiety into action, and she also runs public seminars on climate and mental health, many of which are available on a website, An existential toolkit for climate justice educators.
For more information and to register for upcoming events in the Climate Change Education Seminar Series, visit https: //sustainability.nmsu.
The final installment of the series for the fall semester will be a virtual lecture at 7 p.m. on November 17 by Karletta Chief of the University of Arizona titled “Unique Impacts of Climate Change on American Indian Water Resources. and the natives of Alaska in the United States “.
Author – Allison Jenks – NMSU