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. 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,” Fiona O’Malley, CEO of Turn2Me, said.
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