Social and emotional wellbeing in a changing climate

News about climate change and its impacts can be overwhelming even for those who might feel distanced from its impacts. Imagine the stress being felt by those who are living in areas where the effects of a changing climate are already being experienced. And what emotions motivate people to deny climate change, or to take direct action, sometimes at the expense of their social standing or personal safety?

In reflecting on the human social and emotional aspects of climate change, many questions come to mind.

  • How do people cope with the impacts of a changing climate? 
  • How do we preserve our social and emotional wellbeing?
  • How are emotions associated with climate change action or denial?
  • How does the natural world influence our mental wellbeing?
  • How are experiences of nature associated with environmental concern?
  • How do we maintain therapeutic landscapes in a changing environment?
  • What can we learn from traditional Indigenous knowledge to improve social and emotional wellbeing?
  • What kind of supports will be needed as the effects of climate change become more widespread?
  • What can government agencies, industries, and communities do to harness social innate strengths and to build resilience through these changes? 

The Social and emotional wellbeing in climate change group is committed to answering these questions.

As one of four priority research areas identified by Climate Change and Health Transdisciplinary Impact Research Network members, our group is bringing together academic, industry, and community partners to focus research efforts.

Experts from diverse discipline areas including environmental sciences, urban planning, social science, economics, and public health are working together to define the problems, identify evidence gaps, offer opportunities for higher degree research students, and to propose new research targeted at improving social and emotional wellbeing in climate change.

Ultimately, this new knowledge will inform service planning and targeted strategies that will support people's social and emotional wellbeing as we adapt to a changing climate. 

    Join our network

    Do you want to be a member of our UQ Climate Change and Health TIRN? We are keen for collaborators across UQ, and in government and industry, to get involved.

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    For more information about the Climate Change and Health TIRN, please contact:

    Kate Gadenne
    Research Development Manager
    School of Public Health