Psychosocial Approaches to Eco-anxiety Management

This project brings together expertise from the Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, Arts, and Science, with external partners from Sustainability Victoria and Psychology for a Safe Climate.

Summary

Climate change is an ongoing source of anxiety for people around the world. As such, eco-anxiety has emerged as a psychological experience characterized by “chronic fear of environmental doom”. Eco-anxiety is a significant—and growing—societal problem requiring targeted academic, community, and policy responses.

Current responses to the threat of climate change in Australia have focused on documenting its impact on physical and mental health. The extent and functional implications of eco-anxiety specifically, and the psychological mechanisms underlying it, are comparatively less well established. Advancing knowledge and practice in this area, this project connects interdisciplinary academic perspectives to the expertise of partner investigators with experience of responding to climate emergencies. This project aims to provide a definitive account of eco-anxiety as a specific psychological phenomenon that operates at clinical and subclinical levels, and to identify methods of managing eco-anxiety by building individual and social resilience.

Project lead: Katharine Greenaway