Mental Health: Climate crisis potentially lethal threat for people with mental health problems: Report

WASHINGTON: The climate crisis is a potentially lethal threat for people with mental health problems such as reported by CNN news.
For some people, the threat has already become a reality.
During a record-breaking heat wave in British Columbia in June 2021, eight per cent of people who died from the extreme heat had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, according to a March study.
That made the disorder a more dangerous risk factor than all other conditions the authors studied, including kidney disease and coronary artery disease, as per CNN.
A retired New Hampshire-based psychiatrist and the American Psychiatric Association’s representative to the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, Dr Robert Feder said: “Until climate change gets under control, things are only going to get worse unfortunately. As the temperature keeps increasing, these effects are going to be magnified. There’s going to be more storms, more fires, and people are going to be more worried about what could happen because a lot more things are happening.”
Rising temperatures have also been associated with suicide attempts and increased rates of mental health-related emergency department visits, several studies have found. And long-term exposure to air pollution — which the climate crisis can worsen by adding more particles from droughts or wildfires — has been linked with elevated anxiety and an increase in suicides, according to CNN.
Experts said that what’s going on in the brains of people with schizophrenia or other conditions is just one factor that makes them more vulnerable to extreme heat, air pollution and stress and in need of support from loved ones, surrounding communities and policymakers.


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