Human Anxiety and Climate Change

In recent years, an alarming trend has emerged, linking the growing concerns about climate change with the rise in human anxiety levels. It’s called climate anxiety.

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Climate anxiety or eco-anxiety, according to a Faithful Finance: Sustainable Investing article, is a ”distress related to worries about the effects of climate change. It is not a mental illness. Rather, it is anxiety rooted in uncertainty about the future and alerting us to the dangers of a changing climate.”

As individuals witness the effects of climate change through extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and biodiversity loss, they become increasingly susceptible to feelings of anxiety and despair.

The Psychological Impact

The effects of climate anxiety are not limited to the individual; they can also permeate entire communities and societies. The uncertainty surrounding the future intensifies feelings of insecurity, leading to increased mental health issues such as depression, panic disorders, and post-traumatic stress.

How to Cope

Taking steps to combat climate change and prioritize mental well-being can help mitigate the effects of anxiety and build a more sustainable, resilient future through action.


  • Engage in education and awareness campaigns to help you better understand climate change, and practice sustainable lifestyle changes to contribute positively to the environment.
  • Rely on mental health professionals who can offer practical coping strategies to help you manage your emotions, channel your concerns into productive actions, and build resilience in the face of environmental uncertainty.
  • Trust in your Pension Boards to continue to manage assets on your behalf through the lens of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria. We ensure that investments are made responsibly into companies and industries that seek the moral good of humankind and the planet, and which brings about social justice and change. (Read Faithful Finance: Sustainable Investing, the winter 2024 issue of Generations: A Journal of Faith and Finance.)

The connection between human anxiety and climate change is a profound and intricate one. As the effects of climate change continue to unfold, so do the emotional and psychological impacts on individuals and societies. Stay calm. Stay informed.

If you are experiencing anxiety, Pension Boards’ members can reach out to Health Advocate to speak with a specialist through the Employee Assistance Program at 1.877.240.6863 for help with emotional/mental health issues, work/life balance, legal and financial issues; or to seek counseling support.