Nearly half of global youth surveyed (45%) say climate anxiety and distress is affecting their daily lives and functioning - according to results from the largest scientific study into climate anxiety in children and young people, according to new research.
The inaugural study, based on surveys with 10,000 children and young people (16-25) across 10 countries, found 75% of young respondents believe ‘the future is frightening’ - jumping to 81% of youth surveyed in Portugal and 92% in the Philippines. It found, for the first time, that climate distress and anxiety is significantly related to perceived government inaction and associated feelings of betrayal. 58% of children and young people surveyed said governments were “betraying me and/or future generations,” while 64% said their governments are not doing enough to avoid a climate catastrophe.
The study found widespread psychological distress among children and young people globally and warns 'such high levels of distress, functional impact and feelings of betrayal will negatively affect the mental health of children and young people.' Experts warn that because continued government inaction on climate change is psychologically damaging, it potentially amounts to a violation of international human rights law.
Extract from University of Bath Communications
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