Climate Mental Health
Develop Social, Emotional, Self-regulation, and Positive Coping Skills
Climate Change topics or experiencing natural hazards that may be enhanced through climate change can cause many emotional responses in youth. Social, emotional, self-regulation and positive coping practices can help to effectively manage emotions related to climate change. These practices can be used together as a class, or individually; providing youth with choice in the strategies that may best work for them in navigating their emotions will be engaging and build agency.
Support youth in identifying and expressing their feelings
- The Feelings Circle is a detailed chart of various emotions that can be used to help youth identify their own emotions.
- The Climate Journal Project is a platform to help people write about and express their feelings related to climate change.
- The Climate Doom to Messy Hope Handbook has some engaging discussion prompts and reflective activities (p. 23-27) for teachers to implement with their students around identifying and expressing their emotions.
- The [link : https://www.climatementalhealth.net/_files/ugd/d424e1_fb00677b9f5c42028e08d1a9e087bec5.pdf 'Creative Emotions for Climate Therapy'] guide provides a variety of creative outlets for students to express their emotions.
Facilitate empathy with others
- This Edutopia article discusses how to use empathy maps.
- These Self-compassion Meditations for Teens by the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion can be used to help youth develop self-compassion.
Help youth tolerate ambiguity
- The Tolerating Ambiguity Lesson Module includes a lesson plan and resources to work with youth on tolerating ambiguity.
Practice meditation and mindfulness with youth
- This collection of podcasts offers guided meditations related to climate change.
Vision with youth about a resilient future
- The Envisioning a Resilient Future lesson developed by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences has youth create a vision for their community and plan for what resources are most important to them.
Practice gratitude with youth
- 8 Activities to Foster Gratitude with Children and Youth by Heart Mind Online offers various ways to make gratitude practice fun and engaging.
Take students out in nature
- A Parent's Guide to Nature Play by Green Hearts Inc. can be used to encourage parents to engage their children in the outdoors, and it also has some strategies in it that can easily be implemented in the classroom.
Guide discussions around resilience
- Resilience Guide for Parents and Teachers by the American Psychological Association includes 10 tips for Children and teens.