Climate and Community Mental Health Symposium

Project Summary

Image of a brain with the globe painted on it in blue and green. Source: Nature.org

In 2019, the Minnesota Department of Health and College of St. Scholastica launched a survey of mental health professionals to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors related to climate change impacts on mental health. The survey was completed by more than 500 licensed Mental Health Professionals currently practicing in Minnesota. Results from the survey indicate that a large majority of Mental Health Professionals are seeing impacts on the mental health and well-being of their clients that are directly or indirectly related to climate change. Further, a majority of Mental Health Professionals indicate that, while they would like professional support to address these impacts, there is a significant lack of such support available. 

This symposium will address this gap by bringing Mental Health Professionals, researchers, climate scientists, Extension professionals, students, and other practitioners together to hear about the survey and results, learn from a panel of Mental Health Professionals on existing resources for addressing climate-related impacts on mental health, and share ideas for expanding and advancing these resources through facilitated small group discussions.

The symposium will use the World Cafe method to facilitate small group discussions amongst a large group of people. Colleagues from the MN Climate Adaptation Partnership, College of St. Scholastica, Macalester College, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Alliance of Mental Illness, as well as students from the College of St. Scholastica are coming together to bring this event to life.

Project Team

Heidi Roop

Heidi Roop
Assistant Professor
University of Minnesota
Director
Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership

Brenda Hoppe 
Climate & Mental Health Advisor
Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership

Suzi Clark

Suzi Clark
PostDoctoral Associate
Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership

Heather Bates
Master's Student
College of St. Scholastica 

Christie Manning
Director of Sustainability
Environmental Studies Faculty Member
Macalester College 

Support

This initiative received financial support from the National Institutes of Health via the University of Minnesota’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Additional funding support was provided by the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership, the College of St. Scholastica and Macalaster College.