While the mental health impacts of climate change affects people from all walks of life – including farmers, who experience profound climate-related stress that also affected their families and communities, a 2018 study found – there’s one major demographic experiencing eco-anxiety at a greater scale.
Younger generations are more susceptible to the mental health consequences of climate change for a few reasons. Firstly, they haven’t yet gained the life experience that can help to place their fears and concerns into perspective. But perhaps the most significant reason is the consensus that they are inheriting a world damaged by the actions of former generations.
A 2021 survey involving 10,000 children and young people aged 16 to 25 discovered climate anxiety causes a negative impact on respondents’ daily lives. Additionally, many respondents felt that governments aren’t doing enough to avoid a climate catastrophe. More than 45 per cent of respondents said their feelings about climate change affected their daily lives.