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Mental Health and Climate Change – How do we cope?

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

The presence of a strong El Nino combined with atmospheric CO2 levels reaching the highest level recorded in human history has led climate scientists to declare with 99% certainty that 2023 will be the hottest year since human records began.

For anyone who works within the renewable or low-carbon economy, headlines such as this could inspire anxiety and a feeling that our actions are not having the positive impact that we need them to. The increased media coverage of such climate events and gradual acceptance of human influence on warming temperatures means that blanket coverage of the perilous state of our climate seems to be everywhere.

As individuals working in an industry that sets out to tackle one of the largest remaining issues in decarbonising our lifestyles – how we heat our buildings – we are potentially even more exposed to stories around climate change, and may even start to experience feelings of futility as we do not perceive the take-up in low and zero carbon heating technologies that scientists have told us are essential in keeping overall global warming within 1.5oC.

It is essential that we support each other in our endeavours. Our top tips for looking after yourself and your colleagues:

  1. Connect – reach out to your colleagues. Talk, listen or simply be there for someone. You are surrounded by people who are experiencing similar pressure to you and want to make a change, so they are in the best position to offer an understanding ear.

  2. Take notice – get to know your colleagues so you can recognise when they may be struggling. Sometimes the smallest thing can make the biggest difference, even something simple like a cup of tea or a friendly word.

  3. Expand your knowledge – read, listen and learn, there is always more to know about how to support others and how to look after yourself. Why not watch a video, read a blog or listen to a podcast to learn more on the subject.

For more information check out some tips from a mental health first aider: Tips from our Mental Health first aider Or listen to this podcast: Let's talk about Mental Health - Talking inclusion with... | Podcast on Spotify

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