BC crisis will add to ecological anxiety: Expert

TORONTO – According to Dr. Husein Moloo, interim director of planetary health at the University of Ottawa.

Moloo said on CTV News on Saturday: “It’s a really tough situation in BC right now, people in BC have had to deal with… fire, drought, high temperatures and now floods. flood – it was difficult,” Moloo told CTV News on Saturday.

The terms environmental anxiety, environmental grief and distress – which means feeling homesick as your surroundings change homes – have become more common as climate change has taken center in global headlines, but the concept of mental health tied to climate change is not new.

In 2013, Memorial University professor Ashlee Cunsolo released a paper on Inuit people in the Labrador community in Rigolet, where people talked about the sadness they felt when they were cut off from the places they visited. for generations because the sea ice disappeared.

A 2019 report prepared by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick has been published on how climate change affects the mental health of people in the province following floods and ice storms.

A 2021 report from the British Medical Journal explored growing levels of “environmental anxiety” among young people, which they called “significant and potentially damaging”.

“It’s a complex issue, I think what I’m going to say to people in BC, the events that they’re experiencing on a regular basis these days – have a clear effect on mental health, and indirectly, the rest of us Canadians. Molo said. “Now that we talk about everything, this nomenclature has become a bit more common for ecological anxiety [and] ecological despair. ”

Moloo said the crisis in BC can affect anyone, not just those living through it.

“All of that affects you, affects the people around you — it doesn’t matter what age group you look at,” he said, using the examples of Hurricanes Katrina and Hurricane Harvey in the United States. Many people who have gone through that have had symptoms of post-traumatic stress. “

When asked about how to respond to the environmental anxiety and mental health struggles associated with climate change, Moloo said the response must be “from all different levels” of government and society.

“There are different levels of response here, there is a government response, in terms of policies that support especially the disadvantaged and those of lower socioeconomic status,” he said. , who are more vulnerable”. “They are disproportionately affected not only in Canada but around the world by this.”


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