The nature buffer: the missing link in climate change and mental health research


The connections between climate change and mental health are well known (Berry et al., 2010; Clayton and Manning 2018; Kim et al., 2014). Research also points to the positive impacts of nature on mental health, well-being, and attention (Capaldi et al., 2015; Kaplan and Kaplan 1989; Tillmann et al., 2018). However, no empirical research has examined how degradation of nature as a result of climate change can impact the mental health benefits that nature provides. This paper first reviews the existing research on the negative mental health consequences of climate change and the benefits of nature exposure for stress, mental health, and well-being. The connection between these two lines of research is examined in order to fully understand the impacts of climate change on mental health. Suggestions for future research are included.

Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Naseem Dillman-Hasso
Lab Manager at the Perception Lab

My research interests include open science, environmental psychology, and speech perception.