Climate and mental health

Climate and Mental Health -impacts

Isobel Braithwaite, Healthy Planet UK

The health impacts of climate change, and the importance of integrating health into adaptation planning, have become increasingly prominent in recent years – though arguably not prominent enough.  For example, there have been several declarations from health organisations – the World Health Organization (WHO) has this year trained a number of Ministers of Health in climate policy, who are attending in their country delegations – and many adaptation initiatives now prioritise the health sector.

Often the health impacts which are highlighted are things like heat deaths, malnutrition associated with food insecurity, changing distributions of infectious diseases, such as dengue fever, and the direct deaths and injuries caused by extreme weather events.  All are important, and are likely to pose a significant threat to health – especially without an ambitious and equitable global deal, and successfully closing the pre-2020 emissions gap.