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Psychology for a Safe Climate Monthly Newsletter, July 2021
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If you're new to this newsletter, welcome! We recently had the chance to review and update our contacts list to include people who have previously attended a PSC workshop in the last three years. Each month in this newsletter we share a summary of useful resources (articles, podcasts, videos) on the psychology of climate change as well as upcoming events. We hope you find this monthly newsletter a useful resource.

There is a lot happening at PSC this month. From professional development workshops, to new opportunities for people to join PSC as members. Read on for more information about each of these opportunities as well as for our usual collection of interesting reads on the psychological dimensions of climate change.
 
Warmly,
Beth, Bianca and the PSC team
 
With the beginning of the new financial year, now is the time to consider becoming a member of Psychology for a Safe Climate! Your PSC membership will help us to continue with our core work: offering the community emotional support in facing the climate reality. If ever there was a time to do this incredibly challenging emotional work, with compassion and courage, it is now.

PSC members can also access some great benefits including 20% off all our workshops and professional development programs. For those interested in joining our Climate Aware Practitioners Network, becoming a member of PSC is the first step on that journey.

Becoming a member of PSC is also a great way to show your support for the critical work we are doing at this time. Membership is $100 annually or $20 for students.
For any queries about membership, please contact us at info@psychologyforasafeclimate.org
Online Application Form for PSC membership
 
    Upcoming Workshop
Engaging with Climate Change and Eco-distress

When: Tuesday August 24th, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Where: Online, via Zoom
Who: Mental health professionals and other practitioners
Cost: Free
Psychology for a Safe Climate has developed a Professional Development series aimed at a range of practitioners who support people of all ages who are distressed about the reality and impact of climate change.

In this introductory webinar participants will be introduced to PSC’s Support Model, an evidence-informed approach to supporting people who are distressed by the reality of climate change. PSC encourages expression of emotions about climate change without pathologising people’s responses. Eco-anxiety and climate distress are seen as rational responses to the growing climate crisis. Participants will be invited to engage with their own response to climate change in order to develop capacity to provide professional support around this challenging issue.

Participants may wish to take their learning further by participating in the whole series of the Climate Aware Practitioner Professional Development. Please note this is the first of a three-workshop series in PSC's development of a network of practitioner's offering climate-aware services.

Book Now
 
     Interesting reads
The climate emergency calls for a new approach to mental health
  • In Bob Doppelt's article, he draws a link between the climate emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting including the "cascading disruptions in the ecological, social, and economic systems people rely on for food, water, jobs, incomes, shelter, health, safety, and other basic needs."
  • Highlighting the individual focus of most mental-health initiatives, Doppelt reflects on how individual trauma and collective trauma feed on each other. He argues that the way that the mental health system, in it's current iteration, feels unprepared to handle the challenges of growing climate anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder from experiences of climate disasters on multiple levels.
  • Arguing for more preventative measures that focus on community wellness, Doppelt considers what it would mean for communities to have social support networks, access to resilience skills, and genuine consideration of their multifaceted nature when thinking about the mental health implications of the climate crisis.
  • Doppelt speaks to some of the research already exploring how to best enhance and empower communities in the face of climate collapse, stating: "There is a growing consensus that the most effective way to prevent and heal individual and collective traumas is to engage a wide and diverse array of respected local community leaders and organizations, with a special emphasis on marginalized groups, in designing and implementing actions that build the capacity for mental wellness and resilience among all residents." Read it in full here.
Dominos: Mental health impacts of Australia's environmental crises
  • This article talks about the impact of "domino crises" in Australia and begins to suggest a way forward. Psychiatrist and author of this piece, Alan Rosen, defines "domino crises" as recurrent adverse events. Rosen highlights that recurrent environmental crises become harder to recover from and that the closer they are in time together the harder they are to recover from.
  • Rosen highlights the frequency of climate crises make it harder for societies to take the time to develop the protective factors and strategic resilience necessary keep the population feeling stable. 
  • Rosen's article makes an interesting turn, linking this experience with something he suggests has long been felt by First Nations folks, in the loss of their own lands and continued witnessing of the degradation of the land. Rosen posits a return back to Indigenous ways of caring for the land, lead by First Nations folks as a core way of healing from these compounding crises. Rosen uses evidence from how First Nations communities mobilised and supported one another in Australia from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • However, the article ends shortly after this without really unpacking this point in more depth. Within current sustainability and restoration practice, there is a turning towards returning to First Nations wisdom, but perhaps what is missing is the more challenging conversation of who this is for and if enough has been done to heal the colonial traumas that continue to be enacted before asking First Nations communities to save our own. Read the article in full here.
 
     What to watch

The Magnitude of All Things

A documentary about loss. Coming from Jennifer Abbott's personal loss of her sister, the magnitude of her mourning opened her up to the collapse of the climate. The Magnitude of All Things speaks to the individuals in communities where a climate collapse is happening right before their eyes, exploring the reality of loss of the earth through human storytelling. This documentary is showing at the Sydney Film Festival in August and tickets go on sale 21st July. If you;re interested in attending the screening, buy tickets here. Learn more about the film here.
 

PSC volunteers are based on the lands of the Wurundjeri tribe of the Kulin nation. We acknowledge their elders past, present and future.
PSC acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are Australia’s First Peoples and the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we work.
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Psychology for a Safe Climate · PO Box 27 Fairfield · Alphington · Melbourne, Vic 3078 · Australia

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