Study: Climate Causing Young People Mental Health Issues?

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

This year, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences gave $413,598 to researchers at Appalachian State University in North Carolina to study how climate change impacts the mental health of young people.

An abstract for the research project states that research shows environmental factors like increasing temperatures and heat waves might create negative mental health and well-being outcomes for youth.

“A recent survey showing 7 out of 10 young people are worried about their future in the context of these planetary changes,” the abstract states.

The researchers are hoping to glean youth’s attitudes toward climate change from their relationship with Crisis Text Line, “a global not-for-profit organization that provides free, 24/7, and confidential text-based crisis response service,” they said.

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The crisis line will provide data for the researchers by showing people that seek mental health help in response to extreme climate events of hurricanes, wildfires, and heatwaves.

This research is relevant, the researchers say, because adolescence and young adulthood are often when mental health disorders develop.

“Despite the frequency of climate-related natural disasters, like hurricanes, wildfires, and heatwaves, little is known about their effects on mental health in this group,” they said.

“The proposed research will further knowledge on the impact of mental health from climate disasters using a quasi-experimental design that seeks to tease out causal effects to build a robust evidence base for climate and mental health relationships.”

It’s probably safe to say the researchers will find a correlation between climate change and mental health issues and seek additional federal money to fund more research on how to address it.

Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.

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