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Extreme Climatic Events May Cause Anxiety, Depression: IPCC Report

The IPCC report has cautioned that not eliminating emissions will cause serious harm to the world, especially South Asia

Extreme Climatic Events May Cause Anxiety, Depression: IPCC Report
A US study found mental health problems increased by 0.5 per cent when average temperatures exceeded 30 degree C

New Delhi: Extreme climate conditions can cause mental health issues like anxiety, depression, acute traumatic stress and sleep problems ranging from mild to severe which may even require hospitalisation, said the latest IPCC report on climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II’s report titled ‘Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’, released on Monday, warned that a wide range of climatic events and conditions will have detrimental impacts on mental health.

Also Read: US Climate Envoy Kerry Says China, India, Russia Must Do More To Tackle Warming

“The pathways through which climatic events affect mental health are varied, complex and interconnected with other non-climatic influences that create vulnerability.

The climatic exposure may be direct, such as experiencing an extreme weather event or prolonged high temperatures, or indirect, such as mental health consequences of undernutrition or displacement, said the report.

The IPCC report has cautioned that not eliminating emissions will cause serious harm to the world, especially South Asia with increased unbearable heat waves, food and water scarcity and sea level rise. The report also mentioned non-climatic moderating influences which range from an individual’s personality and pre-existing conditions, to social support, to structural inequities.

Depending on these background and contextual factors, similar climatic events may result in a range of potential mental health outcomes, including anxiety, depression, acute traumatic stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, substance abuse, and sleep problems, with conditions ranging from being mild in nature to those that require hospitalization, the report, approved by nearly 200 countries said.

Referring to a study, the report said that in Canada, an association was found between mean heat exposure of 28 degree Celsius within four days of exposure and greater hospital admissions for mood and behavioural disorders, including schizophrenia, mood, and neurotic disorders.

A US study found mental health problems increased by 0.5 per cent when average temperatures exceeded 30 degree C, compared to averages between 25–30 degree C; a 1 degree C warming over five years was associated with a two per cent increase in mental health problems.

Another study found a 1 degree C rise in monthly average temperatures over several decades was associated with a 2.1 per cent rise in suicide rates in Mexico and a 0.7 per cent rise in suicide rates in the US. A systematic review of published research using a variety of methodologies from 19 countries found increased risk of suicide associated with a 1 degree C rise in ambient temperature, the report said.

It, however, said that exposure may also be vicarious, with people experiencing decreased mental health associated with observing the impact of climate change on others, or simply with learning about climate change.

Also Read: Study Reveals Arctic Ocean Started Getting Warmer Decades Earlier Than Expected

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.


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