Climate Change & Mental Health: Exploring Responses Across Cultures

Join us and our panel as they explore the relationship between climate change and mental health and how culture, politics and history modulate this interaction.

Mental health refers not just to mental illness or psychiatric disorders but also includes emotional resilience and psychosocial well-being. Both the drivers and consequences of climate change threaten mental health. Still, risk and exposure are unequally distributed, with certain groups disproportionately affected depending on socioeconomic status, gender, age and other factors. This webinar explores the different frameworks used to make sense of and address this complex interaction.

Elaine C. Flores is a mixed-methods researcher, a Peruvian Medical doctor and a Research fellow in Planetary Health at the Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health at LSHTM and the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health. She is a co-Principal Investigator in the Environment x Women’s Health project – ExWH and she is interested in the associated impacts on mental health of climatic events, especially for those already marginalised and with a gender scope.

David Finnigan is a writer, performer and game designer from Ngunnawal country in Australia. He works with climate and earth scientists and creates performances and games about climate change and planetary transformation. His most recent show, You’re Safe Til 2024: Deep History appeared at the Barbican in October 2022.

Ayesha Ahmad is a Senior Lecturer in Global Health at St. Georges University of London. She holds a PhD in medical ethics and works to integrate ethics and the humanities into global health research and pedagogy. She is an expert in transcultural psychiatry and cross-cultural mental health, with a focus on contexts of conflict and humanitarian crisis resulting from disasters including environmental change. In her work, Dr Ahmad critically explores the notion of land trauma, as it is juxtaposed with a medicalised and biomedical paradigm of a temporal understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Chair: Lovro Savic a student at Ethox and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, investigating characteristics and moral permissibility of different public health measures aimed at protecting and promoting mental health and well-being.

This event is part two of a four-part series entitled: Physical, Mental, & Planetary Health: exploring the links between the environment and health.

Jointly organised by Flourishing Diversity, the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health at the University of Exeter, and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities at the University of Oxford, this webinar series brings together voices from all over the world to explore humanity’s interconnection with lands, waters, forests, and fellow species, highlighting the crucial role that biocultural diversity plays in the health of people and populations.

The series will be recorded and uploaded onto centre YouTube channels and the joint Exeter/WHO Behavioural and Cultural Insights Knowledge Hub, and made into a podcast series to be released after the webinars have concluded.

Studying at Exeter university? You can watch this webinar in-person at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health, located in the East Wing of the Queens Building – number 11 on the Streatham Campus Map.