Climate Mental Health

Beyond Doom and Gloom: How to teach climate change towards empowerment

View related webinar:
Beyond Doom & Gloom: How to Teach Climate Change Towards Empowerment »

View resources for addressing controversial aspects of climate change:
Controversy in the Classroom: Strategies for managing climate change discourse »

Beyond Climate Doom and Gloom poster
Download a large (11x17") poster of the 9 beyond climate doom and gloom strategies.[reuse info]
In response to the climate crisis, many around the world, especially young people, have reported feeling overwhelmed, powerless, sad, and anxious. Overlooking emotions while learning about crushing climate data can cause anxiety, and helplessness, and impede our ability to learn and take action. How do we support youth in stepping up rather than shutting down?

The following pages offer a brief review of strategies and resources for processing climate change-related emotions inspiring action together and hope for the future. The goal of these pages is to facilitate the expression, processing, and validation of youths' climate emotions while also encouraging positive emotions and reducing stress. These pages are not a replacement for services from a mental health professional. Please seek professional help if any of your students or you are at risk.

Teaching Climate Change Toward Empowerment

Click here to learn about the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on youth's mental health.



Learn about self-care strategies that can help you support youth as they navigate these impacts.

Climate Justice

Including conversations about climate justice within the context of mental health is important as the impacts of climate change disproportionately affect low-income, Black, Indigenous and People of Color. This may also influence people's mental health. Learn about resources and strategies to make youth more aware of these disproportionate impacts, and to include multiple voices and ways of knowing in conversations and action projects.

Listen and Validate Feelings

Listening to youth about their concerns is one of the first and most important strategies to utilize with youth. Learn about resources and strategies that can support youth in expressing their emotions and help them feel heard.

Encourage and Take Action

Taking action to mitigate the effects of climate change can have a profoundly positive impact in moving through grief and anxiety towards empowerment. Learn about resources and strategies for engaging youth in individual and collective action.

Join and Create Community and Connection

Supporting youth in finding solidarity with others builds positive relationships and a feeling that "I'm not alone". Learn about strategies and resources to support youth with building connections and community with others.

Incorporate a Trauma-Informed Approach

Climate change can cause exposure to potentially traumatic events and in turn, result in trauma-related mental health reactions affecting individuals, families, and communities. Learn about resources and strategies to implement in the classroom that integrate a trauma-informed approach.

Use Social, Emotional, and Positive Coping Skills

Social, emotional, self-regulation and positive coping practices can help to effectively manage emotions related to climate change. Learn about resources and strategies that support emotional regulation, management, and coping.

Move through Grief

Understand the five stages of grief, and strategies and resources that can support youth in moving through grief to build resilience.

Cultivate Hope & Resilience

Hope is a teachable skill. Learn to cultivate hope through time in nature, reframe the problems associated with climate change, and share examples of others doing climate change work.

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