Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time and is likely to affect human beings in substantial ways. Recently, researchers started paying more attention to the changes in climate and their subsequent impact on the social, environmental and economic determinants of health, and the role they play in causing or exacerbating mental health problems. The effects of climate change-related events on mental well-being could be classified into direct and indirect effects. The direct effects of climate change mostly occur after acute weather events and include post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, substance abuse disorder, depression and even suicidal ideation. The indirect effects include economic losses, displacement and forced migration, competition over scarce resources and collective violence. The risk factors for developing those mental health issues include young age, female gender, low socioeconomic status, loss or injury of a loved one, being a member of immigrant groups or indigenous people, pre-existing mental illness and inadequate social support. However, in some individuals, especially those undisturbed by any directly observable effects of climate change, abstract awareness and acknowledgement of the ongoing climate crisis can induce negative emotions that can be intense enough to cause mental health illness. Coping strategies should be provided to the affected communities to protect their mental health from collapse in the face of climate disasters. Awareness of the mental health impacts of climate change should be raised, especially in the high-risk groups. Social and global attention to the climate crisis and its detrimental effects on mental health are crucial.
This paper was written with the aim of trying to understand the currently, scientifically proven impact of climate change-related disasters on mental health and understanding the different methods of solving the problem at the corporate level, by trying to decrease greenhouse gas emissions to zero, and at the individual level by learning how to cope with the impacts of those disasters