Principal Advisor: Associate Professor Fiona Charlson

Email: f.charlson@uq.edu.au

Organisational unit: School of Public Health

Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. While certain physical health impacts of climate change are well understood, for example heat-related morbidity and mortality, the acute and chronic mental health impacts of climate change remain poorly understood. Depression is already the single largest contributor to global disability. Failing to adequately consider the climate change implications on mental health could further exacerbate and accelerate growing global trends in mental ill-health. The many varied links between climate change and mental health, which are highly socially and culturally mediated, raise challenges in the understanding, operationalisation and measurement of these complex relationships. This impedes our understanding of how to design and deliver effective interventions that reduce the mental health impacts of climate change and secure community social and emotional wellbeing.

This PhD research will address these gaps through exploring the development of interventions that aim to mitigate the mental health impacts of climate change. This PhD research will be conducted in partnership with the UQ Social and Emotional Wellbeing in Climate Change Network and supervised by Associate Professor Fiona Charlson, School of Public Health, and by Dr Anne Cleary, Institute for Social Science Research.