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Poll: Climate Change Perceived as a Growing Threat to Mental Health Among Americans

 A recent poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) reveals a significant rise in the number of Americans who believe their mental health is being adversely affected by climate change. 

The survey, which included over 2,200 adults at the end of May, found that 53 percent of respondents feel the effects of global warming are impacting their mental health, a notable increase from 48 percent in a similar poll conducted in 2022.

The survey highlights that it's not just peace of mind that is being disrupted by extreme weather events such as high temperatures, wildfires, and hurricanes. According to the poll, 39 percent of respondents reported that climate change is affecting their access to food, while 37 percent said it was taking a toll on their personal finances. Additionally, 36 percent cited an impact on their family, 34 percent on housing, 25 percent on their neighborhood, 26 percent on their job or career, and 24 percent on their education.

The data also show a significant age-related disparity. A majority of respondents aged 18 to 34 indicated that climate change impacts their mental (53 percent) and physical health (52 percent), whereas less than a quarter of adults aged 65 and older felt that climate change was impacting any aspect of their life.

Racial differences were also evident. Black and Hispanic Americans were more likely than Whites to agree that climate change is impacting mental health, with 27 percent, 26 percent, and 21 percent of respondents respectively affirming this belief.

In the context of an election year, concerns about governmental response to climate change were also prominent. A majority of Americans (54 percent) expressed worry about how the government is addressing the threat of climate change, with about one-fifth (21 percent) stating they were "very anxious" about the government's response.

The findings underscore a growing awareness and concern among Americans regarding the multifaceted impacts of climate change on their lives, highlighting the urgency for effective policy responses to mitigate these effects.


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