‘Terrified for my future’: climate crisis takes heavy toll on young people’s mental health
Young people in the UK tell how the emergency is affecting their psychological wellbeing and how they are coping.
Jem, 24, has started losing sleep over the climate emergency. “Over the last two years, I have felt growing anxiety at the state of the environment. It keeps me up at night,” Jem, who works in nature conservation in Somerset, says. “I worry about what future I should be planning for.”
Jem says it has contributed to them taking medication for their mental health. “I am on antidepressants but I don’t think this is a solution. Things like antidepressants can’t fix things when it’s an external problem. It’s the world we have created that is causing these issues.
“Our mental health is so intrinsically tied to everything around us that we constantly see on the news. Even if you try and tune it out, you’re not going to be able to. It’s so out of our control. I know the science and the stark realities of it. There’s no fix to the anxiety because you know [the climate] is going to get worse.”