World Mental Health Day: Climate change responsible for depression, anxiety
11 October, 2018, 22:54
Photo of the horizon. He says that before their study, there was no particular discussion of the impact of climate changes on the mental health. In a new study, researchers found that along with increasing global temperatures comes a corresponding increase in mental-health issues.
For the study, researchers combed through a decade's-worth of data from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which had 2 million people self-assess their state of mental well-being.
The participants were asked to report their mental health status, stress, anxiety, depression and mood changes over 30 days.
The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. However, according to a new study, the effects of the rising global temperature would not just be environmental.
The study analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a self-reported mental health database of almost 2 million randomly sampled U.S. residents, as well as meteorological data over a 10-year period (from 2002 to 2012).
"We find that shifting from monthly temperatures between 25 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius to greater than 30 degrees Celsius increases the probability of mental health difficulties by 0.5 percentage points, that 1 degree Celsius of 5-year warming associates with a 2 percent point increase in the prevalence of mental health issues, and that exposure to Hurricane Katrina associates with a 4 percent point increase in this metric", the study's abstract reads.
A team of researchers led by Nick Obradovich of MIT Media Lab found that short-term exposure to extreme weather conditions and tropical cyclones, as well as the multiyear warming around the world, is associated for worsened mental health in Americans.
One in five young people will experience a mental health problem this year.
It also recommended investing in mental health resilience-building through parents and teachers; and psycho-social provision in schools and community spaces, especially in hardship contexts such as conflict and natural disaster settings. Based on this data, the researchers at Stanford University linked the temperature to a higher rate of depressive tweets and an increase in suicides in both the USA and Mexico.
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