Monday, August 29, 2011

Mental illness link to climate change; child anxiety about catastrophic weather events likened to the Cold War.

A report out today draws a direct link between inaction on climate change and long term social and mental health problems.

The study by the Climate Institute, titled "A Climate of Suffering: The Real Cost of Living with Inaction on Climate Change", points to increased depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicide and self harm in the wake of recent natural disasters in Australia.

The report also warns continuing catastrophic weather events are creating anxiety and insecurity for children at levels not seen since the Cold War.

It claims one in ten children of primary school age showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after Cyclone Larry in 2006.

Professor Ian Hickie of the Brain & Mind Institute, who will launch the report in Sydney today, says regional and remote communities are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

Listen to my interview with Professor Hickie which was broadcast on this morning's AM program.

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