These educational tools were developed by Dr. Laelia Benoit, child psychiatrist and researcher at Yale University, to help parents and teachers discuss climate change with children and adolescents. These resources offer concrete means for young people to learn and understand the issues surrounding the climate crisis, to accept crisis-related emotions and better regulate them, to act for the climate, to discover the power of collective action, and to overcome climate-related feelings to transform any anxieties into hopeful climate actions.
Across the world, more and more children and adolescents are worried about climatic disturbances. Professionals specializing in the mental health of adolescents agree that ecological mourning (feelings of anger, guilt, fear, shame, anxiety, helplessness, and despair), also known as “eco-anxiety,’ is a natural and legitimate response to ecological loss. Rather than considering these emotions as difficulties from which teenagers should not be spared, we can see them as healthy emotional reactions and indirect empathy with our planet and the environment in which we live.