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Meera Senthilingam, a journalist with CNN in his article “Depression, anxiety, PTSD: The intellectual impact of climate change” explains climate exchange especially flooding has mental health outcomes on individuals. He states how many city-dwellers look forward to living in a huge spacious house with green surroundings in the countryside, the place they hope to raise their families. However such dreams are shattered when they complete putting such residential homes to realize later that the area is susceptible to floods. In demonstrating how climate changes adversely affect residents of a precise area, Senthilingam highlights a case of 1996, of Heather Shepherd, who moved away from the town center in their north London home, to a countryside farmhouse which they planned to renovate and make their home.
The area was scarcely populated, and as such, they would get to know their neighbors too well and form long-lasting friendly relations. Sadly though, two years after renovation, they realized that the area was prone to floods. The waves set them back and frustrated their efforts to live in a vast countryside. The family was in danger of losing everything to floods and this affected them so much economically, physically, and psychologically. They had to safely keep safely their property to prevent more damage as a result of flooding. In spite of their encounter, and degree of preparedness Shepherd fears that the floods may come again with more distraught effects. Shepherd explained to Senthilingam (2017) that her husband is hopeful that floods will not occur another time. However, for her, she is fearful and in everything she does spend her days thinking of the possibility of disaster and the best measures to take to ensure the safety of her home and property if the floods come again.
Senthilingam (2017) presents the idea that floods, storms, heat waves, and droughts keep increasing as a result of climate change, and the repercussions of these climate changes, for instance, the trauma they may have on the minds of the affected is a matter that medics, policymakers, and governments are putting into consideration in making emergency plans for helping the vulnerable population. Senthilingam (2017) notes that the prediction of Climate is intense not only for floods but also for heat waves, rising sea level, which causes massive land loss, unplanned migration, and droughts which affect agriculture as well as the farmers who are involved in it.
With such concerns, there are a plethora of challenges plaguing a person’s mental status, like depression, anxiety, aggression, substance abuse, worry, and even suicidal thoughts to those who find it hard to cope with. Researchers advise that if this is not solved, such conditions prevail for a longer time and their effects become detrimental to nature and the human mind. James Rubin a researcher and a psychologist at Kings College London carried out research on the psychological effects of individuals both directly and indirectly affected by floods and found out that among the primary health impacts of floods is the mental health factor. Rubin supports the idea that psychological health aspect requires a lot of attention as preventing (climate change) from taking place, from getting worse and intervening is extremely vital. According to Senthilingam (2017), floods lead to significant losses and damage. Rubin recommends that sufficient psychological health services should be offered as routine parts of mitigation efforts and the danger factors should be identified to assist in protecting people from suffering from such conditions in the first place. These efforts may be supporting individuals who are cut off from social support services or setting measures to prevent immense damage of homes.
Senthilingam, Meera. “Depression, Anxiety, PTSD: The Mental Impact Of Climate Change”. CNN, March 2017. http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/14/health/climate-change-mental-health-eprise/ Accessed 25 April, 2017.
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