From Daily Mail: School children are developing ‘eco-anxiety’ as climate change continues to dominate the news agenda, a leading psychologist has claimed.
The panic sparked by the climate change debate has raised fears that the mental wellbeing of young people is suffering.
Child psychologist Andrew Greenfield explained that ‘eco-anxiety’ comes from young people feeling ‘helpless’ about the environment.
‘[Eco-anxiety] is some form of anxiety about where the world is heading when it comes to climate change,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘To some degree, the anxiety stems from kids lack of ability to control what is happening. They want change but they feel helpless to some degree to be able to get that change.’
More than 300,000 protesters in 110 towns and cities across Australia flooded the streets last Friday for the Global Strike 4 Climate.
The worldwide demonstrations were inspired by teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who first made headlines for a one-person climate strike outside the Swedish parliament a year ago.
Speaking about the protests, Mr. Greenfield said it was important children stood up for their beliefs but also stressed concerns about the implications. ‘I think it’s certainly great for kids to say what they think and have their voice, I think it’s got to happen in the right way,’ he said.
‘Encouraging kids to be able to take time off school, is that a great way to do it? I guess we’ve got to think about that. But I think it’s about power in masses and people feel as though they have the ability to control more what’s happening with a power in numbers.’
On Monday, 16-year-old Greta berated world leaders for their inaction on climate change at the UN summit in New York.
The speech captivated audiences around the world but divided opinion on how young people are coping with the threats of the future.
In her explosive speech, Greta said: ‘We are in a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!’
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