Program on Climate Change, Sustainability, and Psychology

PsySRHuman-caused climate change and environmental degradation have the potential to harm the mental health and well-being of billions of people. As a result of our over-consumption, inattention, and denial, urgent concerted action is needed to deter realities of growing anxiety, depression, and conflict around the world.

PsySR’s Program on Climate Change, Sustainability, and Psychology recognizes that psychologists and other mental health professionals can play vital roles in preventing and reducing the adverse psychological consequences of these forces and in working to educate and empower individuals, communities, organizations, and governments to adopt new behaviors for a more sustainable future.

The program's co-coordinators are Steve Shapiro and Sarah Conn, and they can be reached at sshapiro@jhmi.edu and sac@drsconn.com respectively .

PsySR Co-Sponsors "From Me to We" Book Launch

PsySR is pleased to co-sponsor the launch of PsySR member Bob Doppelt’s new book, From Me to We. Doppelt offers a simple yet compelling five-part framework to guide the changes in thinking and behavior needed to address and move toward resolving the climate crises, growing social inequity and injustice, and many other pressing issues. Learn more about the Washington, DC book talk and signing HERE.

Our Letter to Congress on the Mental Health Harms of Climate Change

PsySR has written a letter to Congress calling for strong action on climate change to prevent severe mental health harms. The letter will also be shared with key members of the Obama Administration. Read the Letter »

Program Projects

PsySR's Program on Climate Change, Sustainability, and Psychology engages in activism, advocacy, research, and educational projects. Project descriptions are available HERE, and we encourage members to participate in these efforts.

Join the Program Listserv

One of the valuable benefits of PsySR membership is the opportunity to join any of our program email listservs. Becoming a member of a program listserv enables you to (1) receive regular updates on program activities, projects, and related opportunities, (2) engage in topical discussions and learn from fellow members who share your interests, and (3) participate in planning and carrying out projects.

If you are a PsySR member, you can join the Program on Climate Change, Sustainability, and Psychology listserv by signing up online HERE (if you don't have a Google Groups account, you'll be asked to create one -- this is easy to do with any email address, and please include your first and last name as well).

Climate Change and Mental Health

Climate change will create considerably more psychological than physical harm for U.S. citizens and people around the world, and the costs socially, societally, and economically are apt to be enormous. The likely symptoms in response to climate change’s stressors include anxiety; post-traumatic stress; depression; interpersonal conflict and societal conflict; family stress; persistent grief; child behavioral and developmental problems and academic decline; and eco-anxiety, hopelessness, and avoidance from the awareness of climate change. Learn More »

Psychological Dimensions of Environmental Risks

PsySRWithout a healthy environment people and communities can’t be psychologically and physically well. Yet human behavior is so threatening environments around the world that we are now putting at risk not only our well-being but also the future survival of our water, land, air, animal, and other vital environmental resources. Learn More »

Program Resources

PsySR's Program on Climate Change, Sustainability, and Psychology offers a range of resources developed by PsySR and its members, including educational and advocacy materials. These resources are available HERE.

Links to Learn More

A listing of websites and valuable materials focused on environmental issues and ways that citizens can take action to address this urgent challenge is available HERE.