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Climate Change & Hotter Weather Can Impact Mental Health – Study Reveals

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Exposure to higher temperatures is an established threat to public health and has been reported to be associated with many medical conditions and deaths. On extremely hot summer days, US adults are reported to be at an increased risk of visiting emergency dept. (ED) rooms for mental health crises related to substance use, anxiety, stress & more.

This is revealed in a study published in the Journal JAMA Psychiatry by Dr Amruta Nori Sarma and her team at Environmental Health at Boston University School Of Public Health. Amruta and her team obtained daily maximum ambient temperature data from the PRISM climate group. To find the relation between higher temperatures and ED visits, data had to be analysed considering various circumstances including age, sex, locations etc.

Finally the studies suggested established an association between higher ambient temperatures & ED visits. The main findings of the study are as follows:

1. There is a higher likelihood of Emergency Department Visits for mental health conditions on days of extreme heat.

2. This adds to growing evidence that warmth brought on by climate change can worsen symptoms of mental health conditions.

3. The findings could inform Public Health measures to prevent worsening of mental health symptoms in susceptible individuals during high temperatures.

4. The key takeaway from this study is that days of extreme heat are also linked to a higher risk of needing care for mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, substance use & self harm.

5. Extreme weather events such as droughts, wildfires & floods have a clear impact on the mental well- being of the people who experience them.

However, the persistent anxiety about the future of life on our planet looms and can also take its toll. Many environmental campaigners who are frustrated at the failure of politicians and capitalists to act in time to take measures to prevent the adverse effects of climate change on biodiversity as the planet may experience. Thus it is important to build resilience and to turn “eco-anxiety” into positive action.

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

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