Mental health and climate change

Climate and mental health book cover

Acute climate change related exposures (i.e. floods, heat waves, and tropical storms) and chronic climate change related exposures (i.e. prolonged or episodic droughts, rising sea levels, and higher ambient temperatures) have been associated with a range of common mental health problems, the exacerbation of severe mental health problems, newly described psychosocial problems (such as ecological grief and climate change anxiety). In addition, evidence suggests that climate change is increasing resource scarcity, inequality, and gender-based violence (GBV).

In 2020, the MSU Alliance for African Partnership awarded Dr. Itziar Familiar-Lopez the Transforming Institutions Strategic funding, seed funding to develop international strategic partnerships with universities, institutions of higher education and research, and/or organizations in the public or NGO sectors. Along with Ugandan colleague Dr. Noeline Nakasujja, Dr. Familiar-Lopez seeks to foster and create research and capacity building opportunities for students, faculty and institutions. Through formative research activities, the aim of this study is to identify opportunities for collaboration between the Departments of Psychiatry at MSU and Makerere University, that are at the intersection of climate action, GBV prevention, and mental health that can lead to student, faculty, and institutional development