This is the place where you, as a mental health professional, can contribute to our collaborative and ever-growing effort to create tools— behavior-change methods, therapy skills, activism methods, and the like— that we can use to play roles in deterring the harm of climate change and our unsustainable behavior. You may contribute relevant content under each topic below by clicking on the specific topic name. Please ensure your information, be it words, pictures, or links to other information, is research-based and not simply commentary or conjecture. Whatever you contribute, it will be reviewed and possibly edited before being added to the toolkit. Thank you for becoming part of the psychological community seeking to become more actively involved in addressing the great environ-mental challenges now facing humanity and the Earth that sustains it.
(To add content, click on the specific link, click on "Edit this page," and then enter your information in the Page Content box using the methods described in the "Markdown" links.)
Many existing groups are striving to deter climate change and environmental decline through a variety of activist methods, and psychologists and other mental health professionals can join these groups and infuse their efforts with the mental health perspective that recognizes if our environment is harmed so too will be our psychological well-being.
Children, given their developmental ages, lack of understanding, and limited coping skills, will be among the most severely psychologically affected in a world of climate change and environmental unsustainability.
Our relationships with our communities have powerful effects on how we function, and while communities will be unduly stressed during the era of climate change much can be done at the community level to prevent the worst effects and engage people in creative, meaningful action.
Climate change and our increasingly unsustainable behavior are already creating myriad conflicts in and among nations throughout the world, and psychology is central to preventing both the harm to our environment and to one another as we find ways to work together.
Finding ways to connect and work with organizations and other existing systems is one of the best ways mental health professionals can infuse the invaluable psychological perspective into efforts to deter climate change and environmental degradation.
Our consumption of natural resources, including oil, coal, wood, and metals, to produce the dizzying array of products we buy contributes to climate change and environmental degradation, and this behavior will need to change if we are to prevent the harm that comes with a warming planet.
While a few corporations are seeking ways to become more sustainable, most are waiting for the sort of guidance that psychology can provide on choosing organizational methods to prevent or limit their contribution to climate change and unsustainable human behavior.
How we feel about and connect with Earth and its pain are essential to changing our thinking about and acting on behalf of Nature, and Earth Circles is a vital way to get in touch with our relationship to our home and collaboratively seek solutions to its increasingly damaged environment.
Economics, the costs and benefits of everything from the products we buy to how much carbon should cost if we're to turn the tide against climate change, plays a significant role in our behavior, and this reality requires psychology's attention in this era of environmental risks.
From specific curricula to engaging students in being ecologically conscious and active, our schools, colleges, and universities all must be at the forefront of putting our youths and other citizens to work developing creative ways to tackle the problems of climate change and unsustainability.
Because of their developmental and physical status, older people will, like children, be disproportionately harmed as the planet warms and our natural resources become tapped out, and psychology must not only champion their special needs but also seek ways to reduce their losses.
Our underlying beliefs, values, and thoughts about our behavior toward our planet infuse how we behave toward it, and human psychology must have a moral and ethical stance toward climate change and sustainability if we are to have hope for acting to save our Earth.
At local, national, and international levels, government can have inordinate, immediate impact on human behavior through legislation and economic policy, and psychology must seek to influence this policy to deter the harm of climate change and unsustainable lifestyles.
The media, including television, blogs, music, advertising, and other means of communication, can have vast influence on human behavior and our overconsumption, and psychology can work with all of them to shape our responses to the environmental and consumption challenges we face.
Psychologists and other mental health practitioners can, in their own lives and work, choose ways of feeling, thinking, and acting that help to limit climate change and improve sustainability and also influence others around them to do the same.
From Congress to local city councils, politicians have considerable power to enact legislation or policies that can ameliorate climate change or make it worse, and psychologists can become involved at all political levels to influence our representatives' work as well as citizens' votes.
The poor throughout the world, including in the United States, are more likely to experience the harm of climate change and environmental decline, and psychologists can champion their needs to prevent the worst outcomes.
People of color throughout the world are more likely to suffer mental and physical harm from climate change and environmental degradation, and psychology can be at the forefront of finding ways to limit this harm while helping them cope.
Our sense of connectedness to Earth is often rooted in our religious beliefs and spiritual practices, and psychology can work with religious groups and invigorate spiritual methods that help people become better stewards of the planet.
Psychologists and other mental health professionals have a host of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral tools that can be adapted to preventing climate change and our environmentally harmful ways while also changing our value system about being better caretakers of each other and Nature.
Our values inform how we relate to each other and Nature and how we consume natural resources, so it's vital that we better understand and address our deepest values to ensure we aren't harming people and the planet.
As women continue to be the primary caretakers of children and families throughout the world, and as they often bear the brunt of societal injustices, they will experience the stresses of climate change and environmental decline more than men and require psychology's full attention and assistance.