Psychological Medicine

Editorial

The impact of climate change on mental health (but will mental health be discussed at Copenhagen?)

L. A. Pagea1 c1 and L. M. Howarda2

a1 Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK

a2 Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK

Climate change will shortly be assuming centre stage when Copenhagen hosts the United Nations Climate Change Conference in early December 2009. In Copenhagen, delegates will discuss the international response to climate change (i.e. the ongoing increase in the Earth's average surface temperature) and the meeting is widely viewed as the most important of its kind ever held (http://en.cop15.dk/). International agreement will be sought on a treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. At the time of writing it is not known whether agreement will be reached on the main issues of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and financing the impacts of climate change, and it appears that the impact of climate change on mental health is unlikely to be on the agenda. We discuss here how climate change could have consequences for global mental health and consider the implications for future research and policy.

(Received November 17 2009)

(Revised November 21 2009)

(Accepted November 21 2009)

(Online publication November 27 2009)

Correspondence

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr L. A. Page, King's College London, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, 3rd Floor, Weston Education Centre, 10 Cutcombe Road, London SE5 9RJ, UK. (Email: lisa.2.page@kcl.ac.uk)

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