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Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter supports public forum on climate change and mental health

The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter is working with Leap Peterborough and For Our Grandchildren (4RG) Peterborough on a public forum about climate change and mental health.

MyKawartha.com reports, “‘Grieving for the World—Loss in a Changing Time’ will take place Tuesday, May 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Trinity United Church Hall. The event is organized by For Our Grandchildren Peterborough and Localizing the LEAP (Manifesto), with several partners, including the Council of Canadians Peterborough.”

The Facebook promotion notes, “The effects of climate change can be overwhelming with extreme weather events such as flooding and drought (both experienced locally in the last several years), markedly warmer winters, and declines in wildlife populations such as monarch butterflies – a decline with clear links to climate change. The natural world is no longer that of our childhood. People often experience a range of emotions over these changes, including sorrow, anger, and helplessness.”

Mother Jones reports, “The American Psychological Association and the environmental group ecoAmerica [have] published a report describing how climate change is poised to take a grievous toll on our mental health. The report, ‘Mental Health and our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications and Guidance’, concludes that people living in a number of regions could become more susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, suicide, and other mental health issues as a result of climate change.”

That article highlights, “In Canada, for example, Inuit people hunt, fish, forage and harvest regularly. Mental health professionals have a number of concerns about this specific community, whose well-being could be compromised with even a subtle change to their environment. Inuit people say they’re turning to drugs and alcohol to help fill ‘the newly empty time’ they once used for land-based activities, the report notes. Professionals are also concerned that members of this community could lose a sense of their cultural identity and a feeling of balance and good health that they derive from the natural world.”

The outreach for the public forum notes, “All are welcome to this event to give people in Peterborough the opportunity to share these concerns and reasons for hope.”