'Eco-anxiety' is anxiety related to ecological disasters or threats to the natural environment such as pollution and climate change. Almost everyday, the media reports on extreme weather events such as record temperatures, forest fires or melting ice caps. Eco-anxiety is a psychological phenomenon afflicting an increasing number of individuals, and in recent times, even pre-schoolers as well as primary and secondary school students.
The media coverage of climate change leaves some children around the world feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the issue. Although this is raising awareness, it is also instilling fear. Adults and care-givers have a responsibility to instill hope and give children a clear vision for a positive future. Discussing the known facts and engaging them in conversations about how they feel, can often diffuse their anxiety. It is important to reassure children and perhaps engage them in social activities, like community gardens and recycling programs, to demonstrate how they can help curb the effects of climate change.