The Hobart

The Change

by Darren and Jeanette Radley
The Change

Climate change are two words very familiar in our conversations and language now. Once occasional sound bites in the media decades ago, the 21st century has seen an ever increasing awareness and public opinion focused on the subject.

Up until this year, almost all of the discourse in the media was by adults. However, young people and children are now voicing their concerns and anxieties, especially since they are the population group most negatively impacted upon by climate change.

Of the estimated more than 150,000 deaths every year attributable to climate change early last decade, an estimated almost 90 per cent were children.

This research was quoted in a recent Plan International, OAK, and Australian Youth Climate Coalition report on Children, Young People and Climate Change. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention identify children as being at much higher risk of illness, injury and assault during an extreme weather event simply due to their size and young age especially if they get separated from their families. Emerging research into the mental health impacts of climate change identify increased trauma, anxiety, anger, suicide and domestic violence. Is this the legacy we want for future generations?

A way to overcome anxiety is to empower yourself by finding your inner strength and voice, and to express it through productive and worthwhile action that brings about positive personal and social change. This is what children and young people are doing – being proactive and finding their voice. All adults need to do is join them so a healthy and happy earth can be left as a lasting legacy for generations to come. Adults can reassure children and young people by being available and validating their feelings about climate change. Adults can also be proactive to help the next generation to adapt and prepare to meet the challenges of our changing society and environment.

Darren Radley, Relationship Counsellor & Sex Therapist;

Jeanette Radley, Psychotherapist/Counsellor & Mediator

The EPICentre at 160 New Town Road, New Town.

P: 6228 5535 www.theepicentre.net.au

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August 2022

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