WHO Wants Climate Change Efforts to Prioritize Mental Health

June 13, 2022 12:41:05

Runaway climate change isn’t only about ravaging the planet and making it unlivable for humans, it is also actively about impacting mental health around the world. According to a new policy brief from the World Health Organization (WHO), climate change presents a significant risk to mental health and well-being. The organization has exacerbated economic and environmental risk factors that are associated with a decline in mental health and psychological well-being, especially in countries that aren’t well-equipped to handle mental-health challenges.

Launched at the Stockholm+50 conference on June 3, 2022, the policy brief describes the correlation between climate change and mental health, and offers recommendations on how to handle the mental health impacts of climate change. A February report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also revealed that climate change posed a profound threat to mental health and was associated with increased emotional distress, depression, anxiety, grief and suicidal behavior.

WHO director of environment, climate change and health Dr. Maria Neira says that we are increasingly dealing with the negative impacts of climate change in our daily lives. Furthermore, communities that have to live with the hazard and long-term risks of climate change have barely any dedicated mental-health assistance.

WHO survey from 2021 that polled 95 countries found that only nine of them have incorporated psychosocial and mental health support in their climate change and national health plants.

These mental-health effects are distributed disproportionately based on factors such ass socioeconomic level, age and gender, WHO wrote on its website. The organization stated that it is clear climate change is exacerbating several social factors that already have a detrimental effect on mental health.

As it stands, nearly a billion people across the globe grapple with mental-health conditions. In low-income countries, three out of four people do not have access to the mental-health services they desperately need, WHO director of the department of mental health and substance abuse Dévora Kestel said.

Who climate lead and IPCC lead author Dr. Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum says WHO is working with member states to protect their citizens’ mental and physical well-being from the adverse effects of climate change.

The WHO policy brief contains five recommended approaches to effectively dealing with the mental-health effects of climate change, including consolidating climate considerations and mental-health programs, merging mental-health support with climate action, building upon international commitments, developing community-level strategies to decrease vulnerabilities, and providing the funding needed for mental health and psychosocial support.

With for-profit companies such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) investing heavily in the search for better mental-health treatments, the call made by the WHO regarding attention to mental well-being could be answered in the coming years.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN

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