The connections between climate change and mental health

The connections between climate change and mental health


A lot of things are changing because of what’s
happening with our environment and all that plays a factor in how people’s mental wellness
is in the day to day and over time and I think it’s something we’re not really measuring
well yet when we talk about what is happening in terms of health impacts of climate change.
Here in Cowichan this river I’m standing next to here, The Cowichan Stó:lō, the Cowichan River
you know it touches the lives of everyone who lives in this valley and in the summer,
especially this past summer we had for the first time ever the river get to such a low
level that we were pumping water out of Cowichan Lake to the river to keep it flowing so that
it was a feasible environment for salmon to survive and that affects so much economically,
spiritually, recreationally for so many people in this valley and so it’s definitely showing
some mental health effects. While we’re having conversations about what we need in terms
of new hospital beds or certain mental health programs, we really need to think about how
we can also have programs and supported ways for people to get out into the environment
to get that connection to the land, to the water. What I know from being a public health
physician is that the lab work I work with is our population level data and to really
look at some of these impacts of climate change that we’re seeing now which I think is mainly
some of the mental health impacts we need to start measuring them, asking about them
and finding ways that we can help support them

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