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Climate Change Through the Lens of A Psychologist

Pongpol Chusanachot, Clinical Psychologist (Senior Professional Level)

Division of Mental Health Promotion and Development, Department of Mental Health

Interview by Ananyakorn Poolsilapa

Climate change impacts can be categorized into two distinct types: sudden and gradual. Sudden occurrences, such as floods, fires, and earthquakes, often result in abrupt losses and can lead to hasty decision-making. On the other hand, gradual developments, like prolonged periods of hot weather, can affect aspects such as health and income over time. While living with these issues for an extended period may cause us to become accustomed to them, they can still evoke feelings of helplessness and inadequacy, eventually leading to distress.

There is a three-step approach that can help us deal with this impact:

  • Individual Problem-Solving: At this stage, it corresponds to the word resilience. By being resilient, we can develop a strong capacity to adapt to challenges, fostering a healthier mindset and readiness to confront various issues.

  • Solve problems with people close to you: The involvement of friends, family, and peers plays a vital role in overcoming climate-related challenges. By supporting one another, sharing knowledge, and understanding the issues collectively, we can create a collaborative environment that aids in problem-solving.

  • Solve problems together with larger groups of people, such as communities or with larger communities: To make these efforts genuinely effective, everyone involved must feel a sense of belonging and ownership in addressing the issues. Understanding the impact and contributing to the solutions will instill a sense of pride and accomplishment.

By approaching climate change impacts through these three steps, we can build resilience, foster collaborative problem-solving, and create a sense of ownership among individuals and communities. Together, we can work towards a sustainable and positive future, one where the collective efforts of each individual make a significant difference in addressing climate change challenges.

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