GROWING anxiety about the state of the planet has prompted a Fremantle-based counsellor to run a series of “eco-hope” workshops starting next Saturday November 5.
Annolies Truman said she’d noticed a growing number of people sharing their worry and despair about issues such as climate change, and the glacial pace of change to address them.
“People have also been very concerned about their children and grandchildren, about both their feelings and the diminished world they’ll be left with,” Ms Truman said.
“Symptoms of eco-anxiety can be many and varied and include anxiety, anger, grief, exhaustion, burn-out, despair, insomnia, feeling overwhelmed, and experiencing reduced functioning.”
Her workshops aim to build a sense of community while promoting mental health and the health of the planet.
The Australian Psychological Society has hesitated to name the phenomenon as a diagnosable anxiety as it doesn’t have a pathological basis.
“It’s actually a normal and appropriate response to the unfolding crisis,” Ms Truman said.
The first workshop coincides with COP27, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, which aims to accelerate climate change action by bringing together governments and climate activists.
Issues central to this year’s conference include record greenhouse gas concentrations, the severity of natural disasters and the growing energy crisis.
Ms Truman’s workshops are set to run over two Saturday afternoons (November 5 and 12) from 2 – 4 pm at the SHAC Co-Lab on Cower Mews, White Gum Valley.
by AVA QUARTERMAINE and STEVE GRANT