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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-7

Mental health effects of climate change


1 Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Community Medicine, Gian Sagar Medical College, Bannur, Karnataka, India
3 Meteorological Centre, Indian Meteorological Society, Chandigarh, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Susanta Kumar Padhy
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Sector 12, Chandigarh - 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.156997

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We all know that 2014 has been declared as the hottest year globally by the Meteorological department of United States of America. Climate change is a global challenge which is likely to affect the mankind in substantial ways. Not only climate change is expected to affect physical health, it is also likely to affect mental health. Increasing ambient temperatures is likely to increase rates of aggression and violent suicides, while prolonged droughts due to climate change can lead to more number of farmer suicides. Droughts otherwise can lead to impaired mental health and stress. Increased frequency of disasters with climate change can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder, and depression. Changes in climate and global warming may require population to migrate, which can lead to acculturation stress. It can also lead to increased rates of physical illnesses, which secondarily would be associated with psychological distress. The possible effects of mitigation measures on mental health are also discussed. The paper concludes with a discussion of what can and should be done to tackle the expected mental health issues consequent to climate change.






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