Connecting Climate Minds

This is a new initiative to address the mental health impact of a changing planet. The goals are to build an inclusive and actionable research agenda and a connected, supported and engaged community of practice with the right tools to enact this agenda. The Planetary Health Alliance is leading the efforts in North America and Europe by building a regional community, shaping the agenda through dialogues, supporting capacity building in research and advocacy, generating new knowledge, and identifying opportunities to ensure the longer-term sustainability of the regional community.
Climate change and mental health are two of the greatest global challenges we face. Attention on the mental health impacts of the climate crisis has grown rapidly in the past year alone, yet the climate and mental health space remains fragmented.

Together with Climate Cares at Imperial College London, which will oversee and steer the project, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, which will lead the infrastructural support and creative approaches to fostering meaningful and boundary-breaking dialogues, the Lived Experience Working Group (Climate Mental Health Network, SustyVibes, Force of Nature) will ensure meaningful inclusion of expertise by lived experience and lead global engagement with particularly vulnerable communities including youth and indigenous communities, the Regional Community Development Group (St Luke’s Medical Center, University of the West Indies, Claretian University) will develop the methodology for the Regional Communities and provide expert guidance to the Communities throughout.

The Planetary Health Alliance is representing North America and Europe as Regional Community Convenors, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal Regional Groupings, and will work with regional Youth Ambassadors and Lived Experience Advisory Groups.
The PHA’s role is to support a growing, truly global, transdisciplinary and multisector climate change and mental health community to align and come together, and catalyze further work at this vital intersection of two of our greatest global crises. Working inclusively and together, we will create:

  • An ambitious, inclusive and actionable research agenda that provides the evidence needed for policy and practice to safeguard mental health and address the mental health impacts of climate change while enabling climate action, deeply grounded in the needs of people with lived experience.
  • A connected, supported and engaged community of practice (regionally and globally) with the right tools to enact this agenda, including greater capacity and knowledge sharing.
The Regional Community Convenors organizations/institutions are: 
Two farmers in discussion. Alan Bramley / Alamy Stock Photo
Two farmers in discussion. Alan Bramley / Alamy Stock Photo
“As humanitarians, we are witnessing a terrifying pattern: changing climate risks are impairing the mental health of those we serve, and of our own teams... If the interplay between climate change and mental health is not fully understood and addressed, psychosocial concerns can paralyze and demotivate the very same people who need to turn early warnings into early action. This new and exciting work funded by Wellcome will improve our collective ability to anticipate, diagnose, and provide proper support – harnessing the power of darkness to pursue illumination and transformative action.”  

Dr. Pablo Suarez, Innovation Lead, Red Cross

Planetary Health Alliance

The Planetary Health Alliance is a consortium of over 340 universities, government entities, research institutes, and other partners around the world committed to understanding and addressing global environmental change and its health impacts.
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