In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the effects of the climate crisis on mental health and wellbeing. This awareness has come with the desire to better understand, work with and communicate about climate mental health and the emotions we are feeling.
Climate Emotions: An Overview
The BTD Climate Emotions campaign aims to contribute to the growing awareness of climate mental health and to support youth in understanding and working with their climate emotions, instead of against them. Recent studies (Hickman et. al., 2021) have shown that a significant number of youth are experiencing feelings of worry, sadness, anxiety, anger, powerlessness, and guilt due to climate change. These feelings can have a negative impact on daily life and functioning, as well as inhibit people’s ability to take climate action.
“Climate Emotions aims to contribute to the growing awareness of climate mental health and to support youth in understanding and working with their climate emotions to facilitate climate action.”
Why Talk About Climate Emotions?
We’ve noticed that it can be hard to talk about climate emotions. Through the Climate Emotions campaign, we aim to break down stereotypes around climate mental health in youth communities. We’re creating much-needed spaces of dialogue, where youth can share their stories and experiences.
What is the Climate Emotions Program?
- A free and virtual 4-month program (from February to May 2024) connecting high-school students from two different communities across Canada together in a discussion of climate change, mental health, and community action (e.g., Saskatoon with Halifax, Iqaluit with Toronto, Montreal with Tsawwassen First Nation).
- Includes 7 hybrid sessions with age-appropriate educational resources covering different climate-related themes (e.g., environmental identity, climate emotions) lasting 45-60 minutes each.
- Each session will be guided and facilitated by a Break The Divide team member requiring low commitment from the school staff.
- Builds knowledge, empathy, and action on climate change and mental health by providing resources to build emotional resilience and a deeper understanding of the issues.
- Provides students with access to resources and sessions by a certified mental health professional to support the education and healing process.
- Provides program completion certificates at the end of the program.
- Allows students to connect with people their age from completely different communities, fostering meaningful conversations and providing them with diverse perspectives on the world.
Please Note: We are currently working towards providing French content and programming by late 2024. For this Climate Emotions Program, we will attempt to twin FL1 schools with one another. If you are a FL1 school, please note this in your signup form submission.
Our Program Timeline
- Connection: Connect with teachers and volunteers. Have introductory meetings to introduce the programme and materials. Host office hours session to address questions and concerns.
- Session 1-2 (Environmental Identity): Students will learn about their personal and communal environmental identities, as well as how they intersect. Session 2 will be the first connection with the partner school.
- Session 3-5 (Climate Emotions): Students will be introduced to the topic of climate emotions and climate mental health. They will continue to connect with their partner school and learn ways to understand and work with their emotions while taking climate action.
- Session 6-7 (Reflection): The final sessions of the program include reflection on all that has been shared and learned. Students will have their final connection with their partner school and talk about their progress with navigating climate emotions and learning about climate change and mental health.
Our goal with the Climate Emotions program is to bring youth from apathy to empathy to action. We believe in the power of connection, communication, and creating change. We invite you to join us on this journey!
Ready to Make a Difference?
If you are a school representative or a student who wants to bring the Climate Emotions program to your high school, then register your school today through our Google Form. You can also learn more about the program here.
If you’re a youth activist, a member of the public, or a student who’s ready to take the initiative, we’d love to hear from you. You can apply to become a volunteer facilitator for the Climate Emotions program through our Registration Form. You can learn more about being a volunteer facilitator for the Climate Emotions program here.
You can learn more about the program by contacting the Climate Emotions program manager at email@example.com.
You can also book a meeting with the Climate Emotions program manager here to chat about how the program could fit and benefit your school.