Climate Change doomsayers creating mental health issues in kids

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How can we help kids cope with 'eco-anxiety'?
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220...rens-minds

EXCERPTS:. . .  O'Brien has been acutely aware of the climate crisis since the age of eight, when she first learned in primary school about the impact of melting Arctic ice on polar bears.

[...] The intense feeling that O'Brien experiences in the midst of the climate crisis, has a name: eco-anxiety, defined by the American Psychological Association as "a chronic fear of environmental doom".

Eco-anxiety can be caused by the stressful and frightening experience of "watching the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold, and worrying about the future for oneself, children and later generations", according to a report published by the association and two other organisations, Climate for Health and Eco-America. It may come with "feelings of loss, helplessness, and frustration", and guilt, as the sufferers feel they are unable to stop climate change.

[...] As a broader form of environmental fear, eco-anxiety isn't exactly new – in the 19th century, the Victorians worried about growth-stunting, lung-choking black smoke from coal-burning in the UK. But as human activity increases the risk of extreme weather, including heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and as the United Nations warns of a "code red for humanity", surveys show that kids are suffering from climate anxiety at even higher rates than adults – including feelings of worry, fear, anger, grief, despair, guilt and shame. These often fluctuating moods and feelings can include positive sensations as well, such as hope.

"Children are infinitely more informed than their parents think, a lot of the time," says Caroline Hickman, a psychotherapist at the University of Bath in the UK. She led a 2021 global online survey of climate anxiety in 10,000 teenagers and young adults aged 16-25 in 10 countries, including the UK, US, Brazil, India and the Philippines.

Close to 60% of the young people who responded to the survey said that they felt "very" or "extremely" worried about climate change while 75% said that "the future is frightening", 56% believe that "humanity is doomed" and 39% were hesitant to have children. Fifty-eight percent of respondents felt that governments were betraying them or future generations.

[...] Hickman enthusiastically endorses "lots of conversations" with kids around climate change. But parents also need to calibrate their responses to children at different ages, advises climate educator Harriet Shugarman, executive director of Climate Mama, an advocacy organisation for parents.

In her book How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change: Turning Angst into Action, Shugarman offers advice to parents of kids from nursery school age to late-teen years on how they can mitigate anxiety and take action on climate change.

"When kids are coming to you with questions directly, we have to tell the truth, whatever age they're at," she says. But we should also strengthen their own sense of agency. "Kids do have power, and we want to try to work to build that up at each age," she advises.

[...] Action and participation may also help temper one of the societal risks of eco-anxiety: as well-founded as the fear of the environmental crisis may be, when taken too far, it could actually hinder positive change.

Ilan Kelman, professor of disasters and health at University College London Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction in the UK, fears that eco-anxiety in young people may be feeding a state of "eco-paralysis" where they feel unable to take action because their emotional distress is overwhelming... (MORE - missing details)
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