Poll Reveals Americans Worried Climate Change Is Affecting Mental Health

The young have more anxiety about the threat of global warming than older generations
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WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans believe that their mental health is being harmed by climate change, according to the results of a new poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

In a survey conducted among more than 2,200 adults at the end of May, 53 percent of respondents said they believe that the effects of global warming impact Americans' mental health. That is up from 48 percent of those questioned in a similar poll conducted in 2022.

It is not just peace of mind that is being upset by high temperatures, wildfires, and hurricanes. According to the poll, 39 percent said that climate change is also affecting access to food, while 37 percent said it was taking a toll on personal finances, their family (36 percent), housing (34 percent), their neighborhood (25 percent), their job or career (26 percent), and their education (24 percent).

Age mattered: "The majority of respondents ages 18 to 34 said climate change impacts their mental [53 percent] and physical health [52 percent], while less than a quarter [<25 percent] of adults ages 65+ said climate change is impacting any tested aspect of their life," the APA said in a news release.

When it came to race, Black and Hispanic Americans were more likely to agree than Whites that climate change impacted mental health (27, 26, and 21 percent, respectively).

In an election year, a majority (54 percent) of Americans also said they are worried about how the government is dealing with the threat of climate change, and about a fifth (21 percent) said they were "very anxious" about the government's response.

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