© 2011

Climate Change and Human Well-Being

Global Challenges and Opportunities

  • Inka Weissbecker

Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. The Impact of Climate Change

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Joseph P. Reser, Shirley A. Morrissey, Michelle Ellul
      Pages 19-42
    3. David M. Simpson, Inka Weissbecker, Sandra E. Sephton
      Pages 57-78
    4. Chad Michael Briggs, Inka Weissbecker
      Pages 97-116
  3. Specific Populations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 117-117
    2. Michael Hollifield, Mindy Thompson Fullilove, Stevan E. Hobfoll
      Pages 135-162
  4. Guidance and Recommendations

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 211-220

About this book


Although climate change is mainly caused in industrialized nations, the impact of climate change has spread across the globe, among developing countries and the world’s most vulnerable populations. While the public health effects of environmental degradation and the resulting natural disasters are well-known, less is understood about their mental health impact and psychosocial well-being, and what types of interventions may best minimize the damage.

Climate Change and Human Well-Being identifies the psychological responses and mental health impacts that accompany gradual environmental change and extreme weather events, and explains how climate change exacerbates existing inequities. Painstakingly researched, with extensive worldwide findings and instructive examples from the experiences of those affected by climate-change, this groundbreaking volume also examines the potential for collaboration among diverse sectors of society in responding to environmental crisis. Experts provide guidance for researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the humanitarian aid community as they:

  • Explain the relationship between environmental crisis, socioeconomic stressors, and psychological distress .
  • Discuss the impact of acute and chronic extreme weather conditions on mental health and well-being.
  • Analyze the short-and long-term effects of climate change on specific populations, and environmental refugees.
  • Identify implications of climate change for peace, conflict, and stability.
  • Demonstrate the importance of cultural competence in relief efforts.
  • Include recommendations at the local, national, and global levels.

Climate Change and Human Well-Being offers cross-cultural psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and professionals in related fields a greater understanding of complex issues, and new opportunities to engage in the emerging dialogue within and across the disciplines.


environmental refugees food insecurity local capacity weather fluctuations

Editors and affiliations

  • Inka Weissbecker
    • 1
  1. 1.BerlinGermany

About the editors

Inka Weissbecker International Medical Corps' global mental health and psychosocial advisor. She is currently working in South Sudan.

Please copy and paste the link below in your browser to read more about Dr. Weissbecker's interview on mental health services at the March 26-27 Royal Society of Medicine conference: "The world in denial: Global mental health matters."

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

“This book presents evidence on the likely psychosocial and mental health impacts of climate change, as well as mental health recommendations for prevention, preparedness, and response. The intended audiences include mental health professionals, researchers, humanitarian workers, policy makers, and students in these fields. Climate Change and Human Well-Being: Global Challenges and Opportunities is organized into three sections, with 11 chapters in total.” (Gregory H. Wilmoth, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 57 (15), April, 2012)