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Resources
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How To Counter Eco-Anxiety by Katrina Judge, Founder & Director of Young Climate Warriors

‘Nearly 3/4s of young people say they are worried about the state of the planet – 22% say they are VERY worried’. (BBC Newsround survey, 2020).

‘Almost 9 out of 10 children don’t think enough is being done to tackle climate change and 81% don’t feel they are being listened to’ (UNICEF UK survey, 2021).

‘45% of global youth surveyed say climate anxiety and distress is affecting their daily lives and functioning’ (The Lancet Planetary Health, 2022)

Eco-anxiety is real. Negative emotions associated with the perception of climate change are often voiced through an extreme concern about animals, for example the plight of polar bears, or about scenes they have seen on TV – such as ravaging wildfires, or an immediate concern about the impact of local issues like flooding.

It can often stem from a feeling that society, the government, or just the ‘adult’ world is not doing enough about it.  It is important to acknowledge their anxiety and validate their feelings. Let them know that it is a normal response to be worried about things going wrong in our natural world.  It is healthy to care and love the world around us, and worry is an extension of that concern.

Here are some suggestions for helping to counter eco-anxiety:

  • Spending time in nature is a great way to stay motivated and hopeful. Learn about re-wilding schemes and watch nature documentaries – especially balanced programmes like Planet Earth or the Green Planet series.
  • Engage with reputable sources of information that are reliable, accurate and not scaremongering.
  • Perspective is important. Look at what we have achieved.  Just shy of 200 countries signed an agreement to limit global warming to well below 2oC as part of the UN Paris Agreement – that was an incredible achievement.   Over 400 scientists work together as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessing the science and reaching consensus about recommendations. Globally thousands of top professionals are putting their minds together to help combat climate change. No one person is going to solve this global problem – but we are all working together!
  • Emphasise solutions – systemic change can happen. Globally, we do have the solutions and the technologies, we just need the political will and direction to motivate businesses and organisations to take action.  Millions of people around the world are working on these solutions today; projects, investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, scientists, policy makers and more.  As Professor Myles Allen said ‘we can fix it, it is a fixable problem’ (FT for schools – Engaging with Climate Change – 1st March ’22).
  • Strive to share ‘good news’ stories and highlight positive projects and ideas – especially where they seem realistic, possible and are gaining traction.  Reinforce the notion that we are capable of affecting the course of events, we can have dreams and visions for the future. We can choose to build a better future together.
  • Make small positive changes, these can feel empowering and help to reduce anxiety levels. Learning about how we live in an interconnected world, but can take action as individuals is important, even if we don’t feel we can control the big world around us.
  • Take action as part of a ‘team’ – participating alongside others can help us feel less alone, and help amplify our voices.
  • Talk about it – Discussion, conversation and learning can help us feel empowered.
  • Be part of the movement for change. Nationwide campaigns can help show the power of public action, and highlights the fact that there are others in society who care about the same things we care about. There are many topic-based campaigns – choose those linked to big charities that are not politically driven. Being part of these types of campaigns that have a proven track record, helps us to influence others.
  • Live by example.  Make ‘sustainable living’ choices. Making changes to our everyday lives helps send a message to businesses that consumers are making conscious choices that are supporting a healthier planet. Making those choices also helps change our ‘social norms’.  However, as individuals we are not individually responsible for saving the planet. Be wary not to let the ‘green’ choices lead to a climate footprint guilt.
  • If you are feeling worried about climate change you need to know that you are not alone.

To learn about the Young Climate Warriors initiative – visit their website here

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Other resources you might be interested in:

Prospective Memory & Decision Making by Alicia Drummond, Therapist & Founder of The Wellbeing Hub

Prospective memory develops during childhood and adolescence through to our mid-twenties, but during the teenage years other factors come into play which make it less reliable in certain circumstances. Teenagers need to become increasingly independent in preparation for leaving home and prospective memory plays an important role in helping them achieve this goal. Alicia explains the relationship between prospective memory, alcohol and decision making, and shares tips on how to prevent lapses of prospective memory.

Managing Negative Thought Patterns by Clare Nicholas, School Counsellor at Pipers Corner

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2022, we thought we’d share this blog written by Clare Nicholas on negative thought patterns. Clare shares her advice on how to manage negative thought patterns, practise self-care, and notice your positive attributes. This is a great one to share with your child/pupils.

Understanding ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitits) CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) by Alicia Drummond, Parenting Expert & Therapist

It is hard living with ME/CFS, patients feel really unwell and miss out on day-to-day life because they simply don’t have the energy to participate. People with ME/CFS often have to make major lifestyle changes to manage their illness, and all of this can make them more susceptible to developing mental health issues, such as depression. Alicia discusses what ME/CFS is, and gives practical tips for parents with children with ME/CFS.

Supporting young people in an uncertain world following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by Alicia Drummond, Therapist & Founder of The Wellbeing Hub

The past two years have taken their toll on the wellbeing of so many people and the last thing we all needed was more uncertainty and drama, but here we are, Russia has invaded Ukraine, and none of us knows how this war will play out. Amongst children and young people anxiety levels are high, and many are feeling frightened as they grapple, perhaps for the first time, with the possibility of war in Europe, and nuclear threat. We share our top tips on how to support young people through these uncertain times.

Eating Disorders with Alicia Drummond, Therapist & Founder of The Wellbeing Hub

This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week and with an estimated 1.25 million people living with an eating disorder in the UK it is helpful to know what we can do in terms of prevention and support. We discuss what an eating disorder is, how to spot the signs, and how to prevent your child from suffering with an eating disorder.

Revision & Mocks: Advice for Parents by Lizzie Mitchell, University Lecturer & Tutor

January will have been a busy time for those sitting mocks in preparation for the summer.  Some will have been reassured when they received their results, while others may have felt disappointed. As parents it can be difficult to know how best to help.  So, what can we do? Lizzie Mitchell, an experienced tutor and university lecturer, shares her top tips and advice for parents.

Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with Alicia Drummond

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental health problem which affects two in every one hundred people.   It is a complex disorder which can be difficult to understand for both the sufferer and their family and friends.  You often hear people joking about being a bit OCD when you see their immaculate laundry cupboard or categorised book collection, but those who suffer from OCD know it is absolutely no joke. So what is it?

The Importance Of Hugs For Self-Esteem & Wellbeing In Adolescents with Alicia Drummond

As our children enter adolescence, they will start to reject things which seem childish to them, and that may include our gestures of affection.  As parents we generally accept their rejection of childhood toys and interests but struggle when we are in the firing line. It is a sad day when a previously affectionate child pulls away from a hug or shuts down your expressions of love. For parents, the loss of intimacy can feel devastating, but what we sometimes fail to appreciate is that even though they are the ones doing the rejecting, they will experience a sense of loss too. In celebration of National Hugging Day, we discuss the importance of hugs for the self-esteem and wellbeing of young people.

Coping with Omicron Uncertainty with Alicia Drummond

The past twenty months have taken their toll on the wellbeing of so many people and the last thing we all needed was more uncertainty and drama, but here we are, Omicron is with us, and life has become unpredictable once more. We share our tips on how to support your children and cope with the uncertainty of life with the new Omicron variant.

How To Support Your Child’s Mental Health During Lockdown

We are starting to see an increase in Covid restrictions again and the cracks are showing. Parents are telling us that they are not ok and many are concerned about the mental health of their children, both young ones and teenagers.  We are in a period of collective mourning with many of us grieving our loss of certainty, of social interaction, of familiar habits and routines.  We want our old lives back and we want it now. We share our tips on how to support your child’s mental health during these uncertain times.

In conversation with Emma-Jane Taylor On Teens & Mental Health

Alicia went onto the Emma-Jane Show’s podcast to discuss all things teens and mental health. This is a very open and honest conversation about recovery, resilience and Alicia’s journey to where she is today. 

Family Meals

In this blog, we consider the advantages of eating together as a family – something we have all apparently been managing to do more often since lockdown.

Talking About Race And Ethnicity With Children & Teens

Following the horrific death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have been asked for advice on how to talk to children and teenagers about racism. 

Online Grooming & Radicalisation [how to spot the signs and what to do]

With young people online more than ever, those who would seek to influence, radicalise or groom them via social media and gaming will be busy. Find out how to support your child and help them stay safe.

Free Listening Sessions For Teens In Particular Need Of Support

We are working with some wonderful therapists across the country and some are offering two free, half hour emergency sessions to teenagers who might be particularly struggling.

How To Talk To Your Child About Coronavirus

A pandemic can be a scary time for parents and children alike. So here are some pointers for keeping young people calm and holding a panic-free conversation about Coronavirus.