Climate Change and Mental Health

Description: This research line is a part of the UNU-Climate Resilience Initiative (CRI) and showcases various insights from different geographic regions and practices to enhance the understanding of the interlinkages between climate change, mental health and psychosocial well-being by capturing reflections from different geographic regions and their capacities to integrate support services in climate response strategies.

This research line is led by Sanae Okamoto researcher at Comprehensive Innovation for Sustainable Development System Transitions and Climate Action team.

Phone: +31 43 3884656


The main research questions of this research line:

  • How can mental health impacts of the disaster events (e.g., stress reaction, PTSD) as well as climate change (e.g., climate grief, eco-anxiety) be recognized and understood in both Global North and Global South?


  • How can we build a better sustainable mental health support system (e.g., building back better after emergencies)? How can the mental health system be strengthened and integrated into the climate services as a whole?


  • How can we build and implement a multisectoral and community based approach to reduce vulnerabilities and mental health impacts of climate change and climate induced disasters?


  • What would be actionable next steps to develop climate-informed health programmes to better prepare for and to build resilience to the climate crisis by considering different vulnerabilities and geographies?


  • What are the roles of youth and future generations to achieve the vision of a climate resilient future for all? What unique advantages could the youth and future generations have / contribute to the vision of an inclusive climate resilient future?


Watch our Video at COP27 on Climate Change and Mental Health:


Sanae Okamoto, Nidhi Nagabhatla (2023) Climate Change Impacts Mental Health – How to empower future generations to take climate action, 23 January 2023 – 13:30-15:30 Maastrichtm the Netherlands | Handout_CCMH Workshop

Related publications:

Sanae Okamoto and Nidhi Nagabhatla (2023). Climate Change’s Impact on Mental Health Is Overlooked and Misunderstood — Here’s What Can Be Done Our World, UNU

Sanae Okamoto, Nidhi Nagabhatla (2022). Climate change’s impact on mental health is overlooked and misunderstood – here’s what can be done , THE CONVERSATION

Sanae Okamoto, Nidhi Nagabhatla (2022). Especial | Como a COP27 repercutiu no mundo e sua influência nos rumos da ação climática (Interview in Portugeese), MEDIA TALKS

Nidhi Nagabhatla, Sisir Bhandari (2021). The new normal of ‘climate grief’: why mental health must feature in adaptation and resilience planning, UNU-MERIT Blog



Dr. Sanae Okamoto 



January 2023