Climate change

Regent’s Professor participates in BPS response to new report on the impact of climate change on mental health

Regent’s Professor of Counselling Psychology, Martin Milton, has contributed to The British Psychological Society’s (BPS) response to a new report from Imperial College London on the impact of climate change on mental health and emotional wellbeing.  

The report examines the implications of climate change on mental health and the emotional wellbeing of people across the world, with evidence suggesting groups and individuals are negatively affected by rising temperatures and extreme weather events. The findings also suggest that climate change directly raises the risk of developing depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and in some cases, suicide.  

Professor Martin Milton, who is also the Chair of the Environment and Climate Crisis workstream in the BPS Division of Counselling Psychology, commented: ‘Counselling psychologists are already working with climate-related distress, as clients bring this to therapy. It is a growing problem, and this report is helpful in providing evidence to help us understand this. While the report brings home the enormous scale of the problem, it is heartening to see the data so clearly laid out alongside clear policy objectives.’  

This report suggests that climate-related psychological trauma may impact the provision of care for healthcare professionals if ‘hidden costs’ go unaccounted for in policy and planning. Therefore, the report recommends establishing an international network of key stakeholders to collaborate in targeted research and knowledge sharing, to scale up successful interventions. 

Read the full response from the BPS here.