Youth are experiencing an unprecedented level of climate anxiety and the mental health impacts of recurrent climate-related disasters on youth are a threat to children's' health. Children need support to be resilient as they face increasing climate disasters and take on the issue of fighting for climate justice. This House Resolution, written by high school climate advocates, takes on this issue by educating Congress using the latest research on the mental health pandemic of youth climate anxiety, the disproportionate impact of climate mental health issues on BIPOC youth, and calls for funding for resources to support the mental health of young people affected by the climate crisis.
Nearly one-in-three Americans experienced a climate-related disaster this year.
A September 2021 study surveying over 10,000 youth, 45 percent of respondents reported that the thoughts of climate change have affected their daily lives and abilities negatively.
45% of children and teenagers and 54% of adults have developed depression after a natural disaster, affecting both caregivers of children and the children themselves.
According to a 2020 Call-t0-Action in the Lancet: "Youth might be more likely than adults to experience ill-effects associated with climate anxiety. They are at a crucial point in their physical and psychological development, when enhanced vulnerability to the effects of stress and everyday anxiety elevate their risk of developing depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders.:"
According to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP): "Climate change has resulted in disproportionately negative impacts on low income and economically marginalized populations, students of color, and the schools and communities that serve these students and their families, and adding to inequities already present, problems associated with climate change, such as increased rates of displacement, extended school closures, and fewer available resources for recovery, make mitigation more challenging for minoritized and marginalized groups."