WHO: Climate Action Must Include Mental Health

Essay by Eric Worrall

Even the New York Times criticised the politicised incompetence of the WHO in 2020. But the WHO appears to have failed to learn by their mistakes, their widely criticised lack of mission focus.

Why mental health is a priority for action on climate change

3 June 2022 

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New WHO policy brief highlights actions for countries

Climate change poses serious risks to mental health and well-being, concludes a new WHO policy brief, launched today at the Stockholm+50 conference. The Organization is therefore urging countries to include mental health support in their response to the climate crisis, citing examples where a few pioneering countries have done this effectively.

The findings concur with a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in February this year. The IPPC revealed that rapidly increasing climate change poses a rising threat to mental health and psychosocial well-being; from emotional distress to anxiety, depression, grief, and suicidal behavior.

“The impacts of climate change are increasingly part of our daily lives, and there is very little dedicated mental health support available for people and communities dealing with climate-related hazards and long-term risk,” said Dr Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at WHO.

The mental health impacts of climate change are unequally distributed with certain groups disproportionately affected depending on factors such as socioeconomic status, gender and age. However, it is clear that climate change affects many of the social determinants that are already leading to massive mental health burdens globally. A 2021 WHO survey of 95 countries found that only 9 have thus far included mental health and psychosocial support in their national health and climate change plans.  

“The impact of climate change is compounding the already extremely challenging situation for mental health and mental health services globally. There are nearly 1 billion people living with mental health conditions, yet in low- and middle-income countries, 3 out of 4 do not have access to needed services” said Dévora Kestel, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO. “By ramping up mental health and psychosocial support within disaster risk reduction and climate action, countries can do more to help protect those most at risk.”

The new WHO policy brief recommends five important approaches for governments to address the mental health impacts of climate change: 

  • integrate climate considerations with mental health programmes;
  • integrate mental health support with climate action;
  • build upon global commitments;
  • develop community-based approaches to reduce vulnerabilities; and
  • close the large funding gap that exists for mental health and psychosocial support.

“WHO’s Member States have made it very clear mental health is a priority for them. We are working closely with countries to protect people’s physical and mental health from climate threats,” said Dr Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, WHO climate lead, and an IPCC lead author. 

Some good examples exist of how this can be done such as in the Philippines, which has rebuilt and improved its mental health services after the impact of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 or in India, where a national project has scaled up disaster risk reduction in the country while also preparing cities to respond to climate risks and address mental health and psychosocial needs. 

The Stockholm Conference commemorates the 50th anniversary of the UN Conference on the Human Environment and recognizes the importance of environmental determinants for both physical and mental health.

Note to editors

WHO defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.

WHO defines mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) as “any type of local or outside support that aims to protect or promote psychosocial well-being and/or prevent or treat mental disorder”.

For more information please contact:

WHO media inquiries: mediainquiries@who.int

Source: https://www.who.int/news/item/03-06-2022-why-mental-health-is-a-priority-for-action-on-climate-change

I’m not saying the WHO has forgotten all about their core mission of fighting pandemics. The WHO is currently in the midst of what appears to be a major power grab.

The World Health Organization’s response to criticism over their mishandling of the Covid pandemic appears to be they didn’t have the resources or authority they needed to provide an adequate response, so a push is on for them to be granted more say over national health responses to future pandemics.

I don’t know whether or how the WHO’s far fetched assertions that warm weather is bad for our mental health fit into the WHO’s vision of an enlarged role in global health governance and pandemic responses, but I’m sure many of you share my discomfort in such an organisation being granted any kind of additional authority. In my opinion they should be disbanded for incompetence, not rewarded with a greater say over our lives.

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Kenso Ghost
June 3, 2022 10:57 pm

Much of the mental health problems, particularly the young, is due to Alarmists. What should be done about them?

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Kenso Ghost
June 4, 2022 12:31 am

Youth in Asia.

Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
June 4, 2022 4:52 am

All leftist roads lead there.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Kenso Ghost
June 4, 2022 4:42 pm

These are the ones they are talking about! Scaring the hell out of children for a couple of generations with a bogeyman that doesnt exist. I wish we did less esoteric sceptic climate science that nobody is listening to and did more readily understandable educational stuff for kids to counter the Dark Side scary propaganda that’s making them sick.

June 4, 2022 12:35 am

Willing institutions, education and the media have bombarded the young with doom laden propaganda.

Is it any wonder they’re fragile?

“”Just look to the sky. If the visual of dark orange apocalyptic skies isn’t enough, it’s the net impact of these multiple dust storms happening in rapid order””


Reply to  fretslider
June 4, 2022 7:48 am

The result of extreme levels of propaganda that includes “you’re gonna die” IS mentally stressful on the general public. It is actually immoral for the grauniad and other media sources to inflict such nonsense on the population, so they claim they believe it to be true so they can live with their 1984 double-think.

Dave Fair
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 4, 2022 10:39 am

It is a self-correcting problem. In response to unrelenting propaganda Soviet-era people came up with a phrase that covers all bases: “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.” Cynicism will replace alarm over time.

Andy Espersen
June 4, 2022 12:43 am

In this article you claim that “nearly 1 billion people live with a mental health condition”.  That is a wild exaggeration, Eric Worrall. Where on earth did you get that figure from? Did WHO come up with it? 
The real mental illnesses (chronic and acute schizophrenia plus the endogenous depressions would account to not much more than 100 million people at any one time (my educated guess). Yes, I am sure we have a lot more neurotic worriers in our midst these days – but surely not almost 900 million!!

Steve Case
Reply to  Andy Espersen
June 4, 2022 2:09 am

Two in my immediate family. And I could be considered a certified crackpot. Whether a billion is way off the mark or not, mental illness is probably more common than most of us realize.

Reply to  Andy Espersen
June 4, 2022 2:10 am

What part of “said Dévora Kestel, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO” didn’t you understand?

Hint: When somethings starts with big grey(gray) double quotes and is in italics, it’s a quote, not a statement by the author of the post.

Andy Espersen
Reply to  Eric Worrall
June 4, 2022 2:24 am

Sorry, Eric – that, of course, is obvious from what was written. My piece was very badly put. My apologies.

another ian
June 4, 2022 12:49 am

Does that include testing the “WHOrocracy”

Reply to  another ian
June 4, 2022 7:11 am

At the rate they are growing and given the crazy they are putting out; you’d probably come close to a 100% mental illness rate if you tested the WHOrocracy and anyone they ‘helped’.

And anyone who wants to help you by forcing you to do what they “know” is best for you and is for your own good has *ahem* issues. Mentally healthy people don’t have the need to and strive to run other peoples’ lives by force. The ones who do want to do so seem unable to get things right in their own lives… but they want to run your life. Now that’s nuts.

That “billion” with mental illness may not be such a farfetched number after all.

June 4, 2022 12:53 am

Will Russia agree to join?
One of its citizens seems to need treatment.

June 4, 2022 1:08 am

Pull back the curtain on WHO, to reveal – the Xi Dynasty!! Hand power to a sock puppet for a malign, totalitarian Dictatorship – what could possibly go wrong with that?? Besides which, they have a single word wrong in the premise – mental health issues due to Climate Change POLICY! The entire edifice of the UN has long passed any useful purpose, and should be defunded – to use the parlance of the useful idiots.

Rod Evans
June 4, 2022 1:14 am

One of the obvious examples of how psychologically troubling warmer weather conditions produces, is the herd mental illness/habit of travelling to warmer places to ‘enjoy’ holiday activities.
Clearly the desire for warm sunny enjoyable weather is completely mental.!
How else can we explain the deep routed human desire for warm lovely living conditions we spend so much money looking for every year.
Mental, completely mental.
If we were thinking straight we would all look for those wet cold dreadful climate places so desired by the UN’s agents.
Scotland needs to be careful, if this policy of climate cooling urgency takes off their tourist industry could be overwhelmed with visitors seeking a view of their future living conditions….

Peta of Newark
June 4, 2022 1:29 am

What crap is WHO on about?

Me, you anyone is mentally impaired if:

  • You are overweight
  • Your typical diet contains, by calories, more than 20% carbohydrate
  • You have pre-diabetes or actual Type 2 diabetes
  • You consume *any* amount of alcohol or cannabis
  • You enjoy watching (contemporary Western) TV
  • You use social media
  • You ‘impulse eat’ i.e Use Comfort Food
  • You regularly struggle to get out of bed in a morning (use the Snooze button)
  • You were not breast-fed up to age 30 months
  • As a she/her/female you were fed a diet low/zero in saturated fat up to age 13
  • You follow any sort of vegetarian/vegan diet (=UR low in Vitamin B)
  • You deprive yourself of Sodium
  • You consume Fluoride
  • You lack Magnesium, Iodine, Zinc, Copper, Iron, Selenium in your diet
  • You don’t consume Vitamin C correctly or in large enough amounts
  • The food you eat is low in Vitamins A, E and K2
  • You have low Vitamin D levels
  • You live near a main road or city centre (historic Lead from petrol)
  • You have Mercury fillings in your teeth or eat Mercury from ‘big mouth’ fish
  • You live in a rural area where the farmers use Organophosphorus and Glyphosate
  • You depend on rice or corn as a ‘staple food’

There’s plenty more.

You know the reason for those things and thus that what they describe is what is *causing* the so far observed climate change.
Bless fretslider elsewhere in this thread, bang on cue linking to a story about duststorms

The really crazy thing is that a lot of the things listed above are regarded as remedies for ‘feeling low/down’
It’s a matter of placing a proper benchmark and the WHO are utterly incapable

It is not really that difficult (in theory) to place that benchmark and do some Real Science.
It is very very difficult though, because you will be using yourself, your *whole* entire self as the test subject.
Pack in the ciggies, the booze, the weed. the TV and media and especially, the carbohydrates,

Just stop doing those things and you will see.

PS It will take at least 12 months for the results to come in and be apparent – you see now why theory and practice are vastly different things?
(haha, I’ve just summed up all of climate science haven’t I?)

edit to PPS
The ‘big mouth’ fish are the ones at the top of the food chain. e.g. shark.
The little fish contain mercury obviously, but the big mouths eat the tiddlers and thus concentrate the amount
Salmon are as big mouth as you can get – but don’t even think about farmed salmon – they are sooo toxic as to be damn near radioactive.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 4, 2022 1:51 am

missed edit
A biggie in the list and why Ivermectin worked so well as a Covid remedy…

  • Your mental health is wrecked because you have worms (esp Sushi eaters)
  • Also undiagnosed Lyme Disease, as probably 80% the population of New England have.

Mmmm, that explains quite a lot just on its own.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 4, 2022 11:36 pm

Peta, dear, lighten up. Something’s going to kill you no matter what you do. I worked with the geriatric population in healthcare. One of the things I learned was that no matter what people do, it’s hard to beat your genes and life is not fair.
You need to realize that your prescription for life may work for you but other people would rather die younger (or, not, given that life is not fair) and do and eat what they enjoy.
I’d say that happiness and tolerance for others and the decisions they make is one of the best prescriptions for a long life. It certainly greatly reduces stress which you seem to have in large quantities.
Take care and remember to enjoy the ride because no matter what you do, the ride will end some day. Peace.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 4, 2022 3:03 am

What should you do about an overactive mother gene?

Ulric Lyons
June 4, 2022 2:15 am

“The IPPC revealed that rapidly increasing climate change poses a rising threat to mental health and psychosocial well-being; from emotional distress to anxiety, depression, grief, and suicidal behavior.”

Their lies about a climate crisis and increasing weather extremes is solely to blame.

June 4, 2022 3:21 am

When did mental “health” become a problem?

Mental illness could be a problem.

And there are degrees of illness. The hay-fever I am currently suffering could be a kind of illness. Are we supposed to care about the mental equivalent of hay-fever?

Tom Halla
June 4, 2022 3:21 am

The WHO is not correctible, so Trump did the right thing to withdraw. Promptly undone by His Senility and crew.
They are a normal UN agency, controlled by the PRC with the aid of kleptocrats.

Geoff Sherrington
June 4, 2022 3:44 am

There is no mystery about the incidence of mental health problems amongst our young, particularly in the USA.
From the start of their age of comprehension, youngsters face hours every day being bombarded with television images whose dominant theme is people killing each other, especially violently and with guns. Any expert who says the children are unaffected is affected himself/herself.
It would be a start if Hollywood realised the ways it is killing people by taking the horror and harm out of killing. Those who have seen violent deaths do not share Hollywood’s false imagery of a clean, quiet, unemotional affair that is to be forgotten by the next scene in the movie.
Clean up your acts, you overpaid glamour seekers in the “entertainment” industry. Now. It can be vastly improved inside a year. For the children. Geoff S

Matthew Sykes
June 4, 2022 4:36 am

Well, Climate Change the religion is causing anxiety in its adherents. Global warming itself, and the slight increase in rain fall isnt a problem at all.

Old Man Winter
June 4, 2022 5:07 am

Other than fabricating a problem out of thin air, the left has handled the Wuhan flu exactly like
The Team™ did with climate. Both shoved unworkable policies- that WE paid for- down our throats &
used propaganda, fear & bullying to scare people into compliance. This created a mental health
problems in young people for which they will shove even more unworkable policies- that WE will
pay for- down our throats & use propaganda, fear & bullying to scare us again into compliance.


Pre-pandemic mask articles:




Studies since then:





Mental health issues:




June 4, 2022 5:57 am

I have lived 68 years in Texas, 40 of those in the same town. I can perceive no change in climate, seasonal temperatures, rainfall, humidity. There have been hotter years, colder years, wetter years, dryer years, but my expectations for tomorrow’s weather have not changed, and I am not mentally anguished or even mildly concerned about it. If people were to turn off the Weather Fantasy Channel and the rest of the 24-7 “news” media, social media and what passes for entertainment, few would be able to sense any real change other than natural fluctuations.

As others have said here, mental health, as regards climate, is impacted by the overheated apocalyptic climate propaganda and poorly-conceived government intervention in energy policy. Feed a child, who lacks long-term perspective, nothing but fear and hopelessness, gender confusion, hatred and division, lawlessness and crudity, and broken families, you will get mental illness in many. Some will kill themselves. Some will take up weapons and kill others. Some will worship the earth. Many will become Democrats, a clear sign of mental illness.

The WHO’s reference to the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan as evidence of climate change is laughable. Others have chronicled the known history of major, destructive typhoons landfalling in the Philippines back to the 17th century. Only by truncating history to only the last 20 years (as Wikipedia does) can they make recent typhoons appear “unprecedented.”

Bruce Cobb
June 4, 2022 8:28 am

The one and only Who we need:
“Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Probably the greatest rock song ever produced.

June 4, 2022 8:53 am

If I had a vote it would be to disband the WHO for it’s uselessness and corruption and not needed with today’s communication and transportation capability. Can’t believe I didn’t mention the cost.

Not Chicken Little
June 4, 2022 3:19 pm

It’s the mental health of WHO that worries me, and the people who listen to them. No, not The Who, it’s OK to listen to them.

H. D. Hoese
June 5, 2022 7:34 am

In ecology there is the ‘sublethal’ category, sometimes more significant and widespread. The use of May nitrogen Mississippi River concentrations to predict with models 2D sizes in a 3D ocean as an example. https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/noaa-forecasts-average-dead-zone-off-louisiana-texas-85142648

“Decades of work haven’t shrunk the oxygen-depleted “dead zone” that forms each year in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana and Texas……..Some of the universities also release their own forecasts. LSU’s, which sees nitrogen levels in May as the main driver for the area’s size in July, forecast its size this year at 5,881 square miles (15,233 square kilometers). ”

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