The UN says climate change poses serious risks to the mental health and well-being of the population, according to a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February./Last February.
An intergovernmental panel study has revealed that rapidly increasing climate change poses a growing threat to mental health and psychological well-being..
Intensity of support
Maria Neera, Director of the World Health Organization’s Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, said::
“The impacts of climate change are becoming a part of our daily lives, and there is very little dedicated mental health support for people and communities dealing with climate-related and long-term risks.”
According to the policy summary, the psychological effects of climate change are unequally distributed, with some groups being affected proportionally depending on factors such as socioeconomic status, gender and age..
However, the World Health Organization says that it is becoming clear that climate change is already affecting many social decisions leading to massive mental health burdens worldwide.
Of the 95 countries surveyed last year, only nine had mental health and psychological support in their national health and climate change programs..
Protecting people at risk
Deora Kestal, director of the World Health Organization’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, said:
“The impact of climate change is adding to the already very difficult situation for mental health and related services worldwide. There are nearly one billion people with mental conditions, but in low- and middle-income countries, three out of four do not have access to essential services.
She added: “By improving mental health and psychological support services within the framework of disaster risk reduction and climate action, countries can do more to help protect those most at risk.“.
The policy summary suggests five key approaches to addressing the effects of climate change on mental health and examples of countries already advancing on this issue..
Prioritize mental health
The World Health Organization has called on governments to integrate climate research into mental health programs, to integrate mental health support with climate action, and to develop their global commitment..
It calls on authorities to develop community-based approaches to reduce vulnerability and close existing large financial gaps in mental and psychological support.
The Philippines is one of the leading countries mentioned in the report, which restructured and improved mental health services after Hurricane Haiyan in 2013, arguably one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded..
While preparing cities to respond to climate risks and address mental and psychological needs, India has also measured disaster mitigation..
The WHO summary was released on the last day of the Stockholm Summit, the first global conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and to make the environment a major issue..
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called All of his inauguration speech on Thursday States need to do more to protect the basic human right to a clean and healthy environment for all.
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