Sarah Newman is the Founder and Executive Director of the Climate Mental Health Network, which she started in Spring 2021. Prior to this, Newman worked in the impact media space for many years, including a stint at Participant Media. During her time in the industry, Sarah worked on campaigns for films such as Contagion, Food, Inc., The Cove, and Heather Booth: Changing the World.
She joins us to shine light on a global mental health crisis, which is exacerbated by the climate crisis.
According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a temperature increase of just 1°C above the monthly average has been associated with a 2% increase in the probability of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.
Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires can lead to traumatic experiences, resulting in increased rates of PTSD. For example, a study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that Hurricane Katrina led to a significant increase in PTSD symptoms among affected individuals.
Statistics like this are just one of the reasons why Sarah founded Climate Mental Health Network. Through her work she discovered that Gen Z is more acutely affected by climate emotions, and set out to provide education, training, and resources to them. She also offers training and resources to teachers and parents, as well.
Several links are provided below where you can learn more.
If there is one takeaway from this episode, it is to watch the trailer for their upcoming short documentary film, Gen Z Mental Health: Climate Stories.