Climate change does more than just trigger severe weather events. Global warming is also responsible for increased risks to people who suffer from mental health conditions. A new study is shedding light on how the climate crisis is negatively impacting those with mental health issues such as anxiety and bipolar disorder.
What the Research Says About Climate Change and Mental Health Impacts
According to recent data, it is becoming clear that climate change is reaching far beyond just an increase in wildfires, hurricanes, and other severe weather impacts. For instance, 8% of the people who died during a record-breaking heat wave that gripped the Canadian province of British Columbia in June of 2021 had been previously diagnosed with schizophrenia.
That number meant that the mental health disorder was a more significant risk factor during the heat than all other medical conditions.
The mere threat of severe weather can worsen mental health issues for those who previously struggled with these conditions. It has been shown that an increase in the temperatures has been linked to an increase in suicide attempts as well as emergency room visits related to mental health concerns.
In addition, climate change has also been show to boost the amount of pollutants in the air, a further danger that has been connected to an increase in anxiety and suicide attempts.