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Aug 2022

Mental health support to be part of climate action plans

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Jul 2022

Mental health support must be included in all national responses to climate change according to World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO in a new policy brief has said that climate change poses serious risks to people’s mental health and well-being. This concurs with a report published in February by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The IPCC study had revealed that rapidly increasing climate change is a rising threat to mental health and psychosocial well-being, from emotional distress to anxiety, depression, grief and suicidal behaviour.
The mental health impacts of climate change are unequally distributed, with certain groups disproportionately affected depending on factors such as socioeconomic status, gender and age.
WHO said it was clear that climate change affects many of the social determinants that already are leading to massive mental health burdens globally. Out of 95 countries surveyed in 2021, only nine have included mental health and psychosocial support in their national health and climate change plans.
The policy brief recommends five important approaches for governments to address the mental health impacts of climate change, as well as examples of countries that are already making headway on the issue.
WHO has called for governments to integrate climate considerations with mental health programmes, merge mental health support with climate action, and build upon their global commitments.
It said the authorities should also develop community-based approaches to reduce vulnerabilities and close the large funding gap that currently exists for mental health and psychosocial support. M 

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