The study, which looked at 284 students from all over the country, found that collective environmental action, but not individual actions, was linked to a decrease in depression symptoms.
The benefits of teamwork
When these web-based surveys were done between October and December 2020, most universities were implementing remote learning in response to COVID-19, and there may have been more political anxiety in the run-up to the November 2020 election.
In terms of qualitative feedback, no participant mentioned climate change actions without also expressing their concerns. Climate anxiety is about a wide range of things, like environmental damage, collective inactivity, global human suffering, and individual pain.
The study also found a link between more individual climate action and more collective climate activism.
The fact that this survey had three gender options was a good thing, given how often this is a problem with studies.
People who took part in collective environmental action, like outreach and advocacy, had less depression.
Recycling alone did not have the same positive effect on mental health as group activities, like going to the gym.
These findings show that collective action on climate change and mental health may be possible.
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