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The Future Of Climate Change And Our Mental Health

Jenee Darden
Sunset at Crown Beach in Alameda.

This interview is part of a series about the emotional toll of climate change and it first aired on August 6, 2020 and it aired again most recently in the July 10, 2024 episode of Crosscurrents.

Click the play button to listen to the interview.

It’s summer here in the Bay, which for some means a hike in the woods, reading in the park or taking a swim in the beautiful outdoors. Research shows spending time in nature is goodfor mental health because it lowers stress and improves our moods.

But nature itself is under threat of becoming diminished, as beaches submerge, forests burn and unbearable heat covers more of the globe. Just last week we felt higher than usual temperatures around the Bay Area. Livermore hit 111 degrees Fahrenheit, topping its previous record of 109 degrees Fahrenheit from the year 1905.

So as climate change intensifies, what will our mental health look like in the future?

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and we’re going to hear from psychiatrist Robin Cooper on how vulnerable populations are disproportionately impacted by this crisis. Cooper works at UCSF and is the co-founder of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance. They callfor psychiatrists to do more to prepare for the impact that climate change will have on our mental health.

Crosscurrents ClimateCrosscurrents
Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She is the executive producer and host of the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds as well as the series Sights + Sounds Magazine. Jeneé also covers East Oakland for KALW. Jeneé has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.