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70% of children aged 7-12 are now afraid of climate change

According to the results of a survey, more than 70% of children aged 7 to 12 are now afraid of climate change.

More than seven in ten children aged 7 to 12 are now worried about climate change, according to research by a UK-based start-up.

It comes amid reports from various experts that children and teens from various demographics are experiencing high rates of mental health problems, with a school counselor saying earlier this year that anxiety rates had hit an all time high. post-lockdown record high.

According to a Euronews report, the survey – which asked 1,000 children born between 2010 and 2015 about their views on the environment – found that a total of 71% of respondents were now concerned about environmental change, including climate change.

27% of respondents in particular said the impact of global temperature changes on animals was their biggest concern, while just under one in five were most concerned about plastic pollution.

The survey is one of the latest examples of so-called eco-anxiety – an extreme worry related to climate change or dangers to the environment – affecting children at a time when education systems are focusing more and more about current issues related to emissions. and potential catastrophic sea level rise.

For those on the political left, in particular, eco-anxiety appears to be a growing variable, with the European Union even running courses for its workers in hopes of helping them cope with stress caused by their climate beliefs.

A study published earlier this year found that a significant number of children now seem to experience “a variety of emotions such as anger, sadness, guilt and hopelessness that characterize eco-anxiety”, while noting that more research on the impact of the phenomenon on children in particular needed to be done.

Such anxiety comes at a time when many young people are already experiencing major mental health challenges for a wide variety of reasons, with some experts even suspecting that the world’s intermittent COVID lockdowns have had a seriously detrimental effect on wellbeing. children.

“Children have the highest level of anxiety I have ever seen: anxiety about basic safety and fear of what might happen,” a Colorado school counselor told a New York survey. Times earlier this year.

Others noted that their students had found themselves “frozen, socially and emotionally, at the age when they started the pandemic”, apparently due to the isolation associated with the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the CDC reported that 44% of American teens reported experiencing “lingering feelings of sadness or hopelessness.”

20% said they had considered suicide, with 9% saying they had attempted suicide at least once in 2020.

More recent data has shown teenage girls in the UK are also in the midst of a mental health epidemic, with 54 per cent of 16 and 17 year olds reported to have experienced ‘high psychological distress’ in the last twelve months.

Almost a quarter said they had self-harmed in the past year, while 11% said they had attempted suicide.

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