Climate has us under weather

A NEW poll by the Climate Council, has highlighted the severe impact that more frequent and intense natural disasters are having on the mental health of Australians.

The survey of 2,032 Australians found that since 2019, the majority (80 per cent) reported they had experienced at least one of the following: heatwaves (63 per cent), flooding (47 per cent), bushfires (42 per cent), droughts (36 per cent), cyclones or destructive storms (29 per cent). Half of the survey participants said their mental health had been negatively affected by the extreme weather event they experienced, with one in five reporting a major or moderate impact.

A follow-up community-level survey with people who had experienced a disaster found that the most common mental health symptoms were anxiety, followed by symptoms of depression and PTSD. 

Some 37 per cent of survey participants said that there was too little mental health support available to them. Climate Councillor, Dr Joelle Gergis, said the results of the poll were “confronting”.