Are the talks about climate change adding to the anxiety in our youth?
“Child psychiatrists, psychologists and educators say they’ve seen an escalation in the anxiety levels of today’s youth, who are constantly exposed to doomsday talk about the destruction of our planet.” Gayle Macdonald, The Globe and Mail.
The youth these days face circumstances quite different from old times and the pressures in their lives vary as well. With fast paced routines – school, home and extracurricular activities, students often find themselves trapped in a viscous cycle of to do’s every day. They schedule is packed from morning till afternoon everyday and there are very few days when they have time just to reflect and ponder about small things in life.
With the ever increasing impact of media they are exposed to all the happenings in the world most of which leave a mark on their personalities. Wars, social insecurities and scenarios associated with climate change are the daily dose of news we hear nowadays. This has a negative effect on the psychology of our youth who are continually being challenged to absorb pressures of growing up in a world like ours.
According to Dr. Anthony Levitt, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s director of research in the department of psychiatry climate-change anxiety has been quite noticeable in young adults. “Younger people [teens to mid-20s] appear to be much more accepting of the science and facts than older people,” Levitt observes. He has also observed a spike in climate-change-related anxiety in parents with younger children.
Therefore, as responsible parents and teachers we should continually give hope about a better and brighter future. We should lead our children into thinking positively about the trail of events that would unfold in time. We should mentor them about striking a balance between work and play, spend time with them and listen to their problems. As parents and teachers we have a big role in shaping the lives of our kids and thus making a bigger contribution as we are raising the generations ahead. We need to act responsibly and make sure we encourage optimism, growth and progress.
Areej Shah is a graduate from the BBA program, University of Toronto. She currently works as the Marketing Coordinator at Grade Learning and shares her passion for communication and writing through informative social media posts and blogs.