Climate Change Bolsters Increased Risk of Depression and Anxiety￼
Greetings! A new Bangladesh study reported people have higher risks of depression and anxiety from the effects of climate change. The study assessed the burden of depression and anxiety in populations experiencing climate-related shocks and stressors in Bangladesh. This South Asian country is labeled, “…the world’s seventh most vulnerable to climate change and frequently experiences both extreme flooding and cyclones.”
The study’s author, Syed Shabab Wahid, is an assistant professor in the department of global health at Georgetown University’s School of Health. Wahid explained, “We have now established a high-water mark that alas could soon be eclipsed for how climate can impact mental health in a highly vulnerable country. This should serve as a warning for other nations. As climate change worsens, temperatures and humidity will continue to increase, as will natural disasters, such as extreme flooding, which portends worsening impact on our collective mental health, globally.”
Depression rates in Bangladesh are running at, “16.3 percent, compared with the global rate of around 4.4 percent. Anxiety rates are also higher in the country compared with the rest of the world, at 6 percent vs. 3.6 percent.” This study consisted of investigators who “carried out surveys in urban and rural areas to assess adults’ mental health. The surveys were conducted between Aug. and Sept., 2019, and Jan. and Feb., 2020. Researchers also measured climate-related variables at 43 weather stations throughout the country in the two-month period preceding each survey. A total of 3,606 individuals were used for this research.”
The results showed, “individuals who experienced a one-degree Celsius temperature rise during the two months had a 21 percent higher probability of an anxiety disorder and 24 percent higher likelihood of co-occurring depression and anxiety disorder.”
The author continued and explained, “Higher temperatures may affect the brain’s neurotransmitter environment, which could impact mood and cognitive function. Increased temperatures have also been linked with irritability and psychological distress.”
Study results also, “noted the findings are especially concerning for populations who are exposed to the heat and sun thanks to daily labor or activities. In addition, an increase in humidity (one gram of moisture per cubic meter of air) was linked with a six percent higher risk of co-occurring anxiety and depression.”
In addition, this study reported, “Individuals were asked if they were exposed to flooding within the twelve months before the surveys. Exposure to worsening flooding from climate change increased the risk of depression by 31 percent, anxiety by 69 percent, and both conditions by 87 percent. This finding suggests coastal populations are also highly vulnerable to mental health problems.”
The study’s results also showed, “Women, older populations and those with physical disabilities were particularly vulnerable to the mental health impacts of climate change.”
The author continued, “Growing literature from low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries has identified climate-related stressors, such as elevated temperature and humidity and extreme weather shocks, to be significantly associated with adverse mental health outcomes.”
Here’s an Excellent Way to Talk to Kids with “Soft Facts” about Climate Change
One awesome tool for talking to kids about climate change is to read my fourth installment in the award-winning Kobee Manatee® Children’s Educational Picture Book series. It’s titled, Kobee Manatee® Climate Change and The Great Blue Hole Hazard. It contains “soft facts” about climate change and plastic pollution in our oceans.
When you read this award-winning educational picture book to children, it’s a fun and fictional adventure loaded with weaved in “soft facts” on climate change and plastic pollution. This quickly helps children learn about this serious subject in a fun and entertaining way. Here’s a brief synopsis …
Kobee Manatee, the protagonist and his seafaring pals, Tess the seahorse and Pablo the hermit crab swim from the Cayman Islands to Belize. Kobee wants to help his cousin Quinn clean up plastic litter at her new, all-veggie underwater bistro called Quinn’s Seagrass Café.
On their Caribbean journey they encounter harmful effects of climate change and plastic pollution. As if that wasn’t enough, several other unforeseen problems occur with a distressed loggerhead turtle, a giant Portuguese man-of-war, and a venomous scorpionfish. They’re all amazed when they discover the extraordinary Great Blue Hole. Then their adventure takes another crazy turn when Pablo plunges into its huge abyss!
Each page includes in-depth, scientific details on climate change and plastic pollution in our oceans with Dr. Tracy Fanara, NOAA Research Scientist (aka Inspector Planet). Tracy can be seen on The Weather Channel as a visiting expert and she’s also seen on their “Weird Earth” segments.
We have Fantastic Reviews on this New Release!
“I read the book to my 6-year-old this morning while he was having his breakfast before school and he loved it! We talked about the characters, what it meant for the pollution to be in the oceans for all the sea creatures, and how fun the story was. Thank you so much for writing such a great story for kids that is not only entertaining, but has a message!” – Jessica Vilchis, Co-Host KNBC California Live
“A well-crafted, thoughtful, and well-illustrated addition to a noteworthy educational book series.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Robert Scott Thayer presents an important environmental message in an engaging story with wonderful characters. Anyone who loves the ocean and wants to help save it should read Kobee Manatee: Climate Change and The Great Blue Hole Hazard. I’m looking forward to the next Kobee Manatee adventure.” —Readers’ Favorite
For young readers who enjoy imaginative tales surrounding affable and heroic sea creatures, as well as parents and/or teachers looking for a way to introduce youngsters to the importance of marine conservation, Kobee Manatee® Climate Change and The Great Blue Hole Hazard offers a perfect blend. Highly recommended! – Chanticleer Book Reviews
Keep watching for more of my updates on climate change!
If you see any sick or injured manatees, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-3922 (FWCC). They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …
Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Robert Scott Thayer