Huge increase in number of people reporting ‘Climate Anxiety’ according to mental health charity, Turn2Me

Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, stated there has been a huge increase in the number of people with climate-related anxieties in Ireland. The charity stated that people from every age category have reported climate-related anxieties, and the common related feelings include despair, frustration, hopelessness, and disillusion.

The charity said that young people in particular worry about what the future will look like. Turn2Me is encouraging anyone with climate-related anxieties to engage in positive actions such as tree-planting, cycling, and avoiding fast fashion.

“People are worried about the climate crisis and it’s affecting their mental health,” Fiona O’Malley, CEO of Turn2Me, said, “This climate-anxiety usually comes with feelings of despair, frustration, hopeless, and disillusion in the system. These anxieties are well-founded, particularly when we look at the escalating problem of the climate crisis and the lack of real, cross-departmental action; the high volume of single-use plastic in supermarkets; our national emissions; extreme climate changes and rising sea levels. It causes anxiety in every age group. It’s extremely worrying.

“Having said that, there are positive steps we can take to feel more empowered and less hopeless. We can ask our local politicians what they’re doing to help the environment. We can recycle as much of our household waste as possible. We may be able to cycle to school, work, or college, instead of taking the car. We can take the bus or public transport if it’s available. We can plant as many trees as possible. We can avoid fast fashion and shop in charity shops or vintage shops instead. We can buy natural fibres, like silk, cotton, and wool, instead of polyester or other synthetic fibres that have microplastics. These positive steps can make people feel more empowered and can help mitigate the feelings of anxiety that come from the climate crisis.”

Turn2Me stated that anyone with climate-related anxieties can sign up for their free weekly support groups on anxiety, or for one-to-one counselling, on its website, Turn2Me.ie

 

About Turn2Me:

Turn2me was founded in 2009 stemming from the very personal experiences of Oisin and Diarmuid Scollard, who lost their brother to suicide in 2003. In 2013, turn2me gained the support of the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention to deliver counselling online. In 2019, turn2me joined forces with ReachOut Ireland to create a space for young people to find information to support their mental health online. As of September 2021, turn2me offers adult counselling and peer support services to adults and young people aged 12 plus. It also offers group support services for teenagers, young people and adults.

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