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WATCH: Democrats Push Climate Change as the Next Crisis

Democrats propose incorporating climate change education and increasing mental health counseling for children in schools.

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House Democrats Warn of Impending Climate Crisis and Growing Mental Health Challenges for Young Americans

In response to their long-standing concerns about the impending climate crisis, House Democrats are cautioning that the threat extends beyond environmental hazards such as rising sea levels, severe storms, and economic instability. They are also highlighting the potential for a growing mental health crisis among young Americans, who are learning to confront these challenges.

 

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Representative Mike Thompson, a Democrat from California, has introduced a resolution urging Congress to take swift and decisive action to “safeguard the mental health and well-being of current and future youth” in light of the looming climate disaster that he and his colleagues foresee in their lifetimes.

According to the resolution, young people are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which can have long-lasting physical, psychological, academic, and social impacts on their development. Moreover, they are especially susceptible to the mental and physical health consequences of climate-related disasters, which are likely to become more frequent and severe over time.

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Thompson’s Bill Calls for Increased Mental Health Support and Climate Education for Young Americans

According to a bill introduced by Representative Mike Thompson, a study conducted by the American Public Health Association and ecoAmerica revealed that almost 50% of American youth experienced depression after a climate-related disaster. With the expectation of such disasters increasing in the future, Thompson believes that Congress must act to strengthen the mental health of young Americans.

The bill proposes the allocation of additional funding for climate education, resilience programs, and other initiatives that promote the mental health and well-being of young Americans. This includes incorporating trauma-informed approaches to mental health in disaster preparation efforts.

 

Furthermore, Thompson is urging more funding to be directed towards school districts to assist children in coping with the mental health effects of ongoing climate-related disasters. In addition to this, Representative Barbara Lee has proposed her own resolution calling for greater climate change education in schools, stating that it would be a “huge disservice” not to educate students about the threat of the climate crisis and equip them with the necessary tools to tackle it.

 

Lee’s resolution emphasizes the importance of educating children about the causes and effects of climate change, as well as potential solutions, and supports Thompson’s call for more mental health care for young people as they undertake this daunting challenge.

Her legislation argues that climate disasters “threaten the physical and mental safety of students by keeping them out of school, damaging infrastructure, and exacerbating Adverse Childhood Experiences.”

 

Representative Barbara Lee’s resolution has garnered support from over a dozen Democrats, including Representative Maxwell Frost of Florida, who emphasized the need to educate children that the dire predictions about the future impacts of climate change are not inevitable.

“The next generation of Americans are growing up in a world that feels like it’s been predetermined for them,” he said. “We cannot let that be the case when it comes to tackling climate change.”

 

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