Where to find help?
We are frequently contacted by readers looking for help or support around their climate-related anxiety or depression. If you are looking for such help, please read the information below. (Note: this is for informational purposes only, and does not represent or substitute for clinical recommendations. The information below does not constitute treatment or medical care)
If you are feeling suicidal (if not, scroll down):
First: You are not alone. Many people are feeling similarly in the face of the climate and ecological crisis, and there are ways to move forward in a connected, meaningful way, even in the face of the bad news all around us.
Second: You are needed. The planet, humanity, and future generations need your help. If you are awake to the crisis that is happening, that means you are ahead of the curve, and can help increase the awareness of others, and push for change.
Third: Reach out for help. If, like many, you feel isolated or alone, it will help to reach out and get support from others. Here are some ways to do this, in order of urgency:
If you are at risk of suicide at this moment, go to an emergency room or hospital and get help
Call the National (United States) Suicide hotline at: 1-800-273-8255
If you are outside the U.S, here is a link to a list of suicide hotlines in other countries
Find a doctor or mental health provider in your area to talk with. Contact them and set up an appointment today
Talk with someone you trust - a family member or friend - about how you are feeling, and ask for help.
If you are NOT feeling suicidal but are struggling with climate-related anxiety, depression, grief, or isolation:
Here are two steps you can take:
Find a group or community in your area doing work around the climate crisis. People are better able to process their feelings about climate change, and find ways to take meaningful action, when they are connected to others with shared concerns. Hopefully, in joining a group, you can find a way to take meaningful action around this issue, and action a great medicine for depression, anxiety, and despair.
One place to start is our Groups page. They may or may not have a group in your specific area, but learning more about their activities can still give you a sense of what others are doing together.
Find a therapist (aka social worker, counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist) Readers frequently ask us to recommend a climate therapist, or someone who specialized or is familiar with climate-related mental health. Unfortunately, as of yet, few therapists specialize in this topic, and provider-availability differs a lot geographically. We generally recommend:
1. Identifying a few therapists in your area who specialize in the issue you are dealing with (e.g., anxiety, depression, or grief). One
2. Screening them over the phone, to get a sense of whether they have an understanding of the scale of the climate crisis and the emotions it can trigger (and to get a sense of whether they are a good fit generally.)
3. Not climate-related, but If cost is a concern, don’t forget to ask about insurance/sliding scale options
4. A personal fit is the most important quality of a therapeutic relationship. If you don’t feel the fit is right over the phone, or after the first few sessions, reach out to someone else.
What has been helpful to you, in coping with climate-related feelings?
Let us know at email@example.com / @ClimateAndMind (twitter)