BEWARE OF FAKE INSTITUTES WITH SIMILAR NAMES. blank    blank
banner

CLIMATE CHANGE & MENTAL HEALTH: IMPACT OF EXTREME HEAT



  Jun 06, 2024

CLIMATE CHANGE & MENTAL HEALTH: IMPACT OF EXTREME HEAT




Introduction

Extreme heat, driven by climate change, is not just a physical health concern but also significantly impacts mental health. This is particularly relevant for countries like India, where heat waves are becoming more intense and frequent.

Heat Waves and Mental Health

During heat waves, hospital admissions for mental health issues spike. While many can relate to feeling irritated or having trouble sleeping during hot nights, those with mental illnesses face much more severe risks. For example, people with schizophrenia are especially vulnerable because the illness affects their body’s ability to regulate temperature.

Vulnerable Populations

• People with Mental Illness: Conditions like schizophrenia impair the body’s natural responses to heat, making individuals more susceptible to heat stress and stroke.

• Lower Socioeconomic Groups: These groups often have less access to air conditioning and other cooling measures.

• Elderly and Unhoused Individuals: These populations are at higher risk of exposure to extreme heat and its associated health risks.

Case Study: Schizophrenia and Heat in Phoenix

Research in Phoenix, Arizona, found a direct link between high nighttime temperatures and increased hospitalizations for schizophrenia. Similar conditions in India could lead to comparable outcomes, particularly as temperatures continue to rise.

Impacts in India

India, with its already hot climate, faces significant challenges as global temperatures rise:

• Health Risks: Increased risk of heat-related illnesses, including mental health crises.

• Economic Costs: Higher healthcare costs due to increased hospital admissions during heat waves.

• Social Impacts: Greater stress on communities and families dealing with the effects of extreme heat on mental health.

Mitigation Measures

Air Conditioning and Access

Ensuring widespread access to air conditioning can help mitigate some of the immediate risks of extreme heat. However, this solution is energy-intensive and not sustainable in the long term.

Urban Greening

Designing cities to be greener can provide multiple benefits:

• Reduce Urban Heat Islands: Trees and green spaces can cool urban areas, reducing the overall temperature.

• Improve Mental Health: Green spaces have been shown to reduce depression, irritation, and aggression. They can also improve mood and speed up recovery from illnesses.

Policy and Infrastructure

Implementing policies that focus on building climate-resilient infrastructure is crucial. This includes:

• Heat Action Plans: Developing and enforcing heat action plans to protect vulnerable populations.

• Public Awareness Campaigns: Educating the public about the risks of extreme heat and ways to stay safe.

Conclusion

Extreme heat, exacerbated by climate change, poses a serious threat to mental health, particularly in India. By adopting measures like increasing access to air conditioning and greening urban areas, India can mitigate these impacts and protect its most vulnerable populations.


SRIRAM’s


Share:
 

Get a call back

Fill the below form to get free counselling for UPSC Civil Services exam preparation

 
UPSC DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS

 
RBI’S MONETARY POLICY STANCE
 
French Revolution and India
 
MUSLIM WOMEN UNDER SECTION 125 OF CRPC:
 
BASTILLE DAY
 
INDIA-BASED NEUTRINO OBSERVATORY (INO)
 
India's Critical Minerals Strategy
 
Conflict in Sudan:
 
ASIAN PROTECTIONISM:RESPONSE TO CHINESE OVERCAPACITY
 
IVF Treatments in India
 
Indian quantum cryptography discovery
 
Climate Change : Loss and damage fund
 
INDIA’S FERTILITY RATE DYNAMICS AND IMPACT
 
East China Sea Tensions:Senkaku Islands
 
Green steel and the hydrogen-based DRI production method
 
NABARD's Agri-SURE Fund: Simplifier