CONTACT: Sasha Tenenbaum
Senior Manager, Media and Public Engagement
Washington, DC – On Thursday, September 22, Moms Clean Air Force’s Senior Policy Analyst, Elizabeth Bechard, joined Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Chair Kathy Castor (FL-14), Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49), Rep. Troy Carter (LA-02), Madigan Traversi and Giselle Perez from Schools for Climate Action, and the Climate Mental Health Network for a press conference on the impact of climate-related disasters on the mental health of youth. Speakers emphasized that House Resolution 975 is an important catalyst for future policy around climate and mental health. The resolution is endorsed by over 80 organizations, including Moms Clean Air Force, American Psychological Association, and UNICEF USA. This press conference dovetailed with today’s Global Climate Strike, which is part of the youth-led Fridays for Future initiative.
For your reporting needs:
- Watch the recording of the press conference on our Facebook or YouTube pages.
- Read about the event on our website.
- Find photos available for media use here.
- Review excerpts from our Senior Policy Analyst Elizabeth Bechard’s remarks:
“As many of us already understand far too well, the climate crisis is a mental health crisis, and youth are among the most vulnerable.”
“We know that high levels of childhood stress, like the stress of experiencing a climate disaster or displacement, can affect long-term brain development. And when children are exposed to traumatic events, they may experience post-traumatic stress disorder and depression to a greater degree than adults.”
“One of my own children takes medication that makes his body more sensitive to heat. During the intense heat waves of the past two summers, we’ve had to stay inside far more often than we wanted to, to keep my child safe. As a parent, it is heartbreaking to have to choose between your child’s physical safety and the outdoor play that all children need for their mental and emotional health.”
“House Resolution 975 represents a critical step forward in creating the infrastructure we need to support youth mental health in a changing climate. As you’ve heard, this resolution argues that we need expanded funding for youth-centered climate education, resilience, and adaptation projects that benefit mental health… Most importantly, it centers the voices and needs of the generation that will be carrying the heaviest weight from the climate crisis.”