climate, heat waves and mental health resources


Note: Many of the articles here were identified through the Ecopsychopedia and colleagues in the Climate Psychiatry Alliance.



Summer Heat Waves Pose a Deadly Threat to Patients with Mental Illness. Robert Feder, MD , MedPageToday. May 28, 2024.

Brain Health Compromised by Climate Change. Judy George, MedPageToday. May 28, 2024.

Extreme Heat and Climate Mental Health. Robin Cooper MD, Ecopsychopedia, Sept. 25, 2022.

Mental Health Medication in the Climate Crisis. Tova Fuller MD, PhD, Ecopsychopedia, Sept. 22, 2022.

Suicide Risk in the Climate Crisis. Caroline Dumont, Ecopsychopedia, Sept. 22, 2022.

The Tragedy of the Earth’s Commons: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Psychoanalysis and the Law.” Allured, E. Chapter 6 in Psychoanalysis and the Law, Harris, A. and Montagna, P. (eds.), (2019).  New York: Routledge.

Kökçinar, Rana R. “Climate change-related distress within the dominant mental health paradigm: Problems, pitfalls, and a possible way forward.” Psychotherapy and Counseling Journal of Australia 10.2 (2022).

How Heatwaves Take a Toll on Mental Health. Hannah Seo, New York Times, Aug. 19, 2022.

Heatwaves worsen mental health conditions. Laurence Wainwright and Eileen Neumann, The Conversation, July 12, 2022.

Risks for some medications rise as temperatures climb. Marlene Cimons, The Washington Post, June 27, 2020.

The Impacts of Extreme Heat on Mental Health. Robin Cooper MD, Psychiatric Times, July 30, 2019.

Dominos: Mental Health Impacts of Australia’s Environmental Crises. Alan Rosen, Psychiatric Times, April 19, 2021.

Climate Change May Cause 26,000 More US Suicides by 2050. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, July 23, 2018. (Paywall.)

Stanford researchers find warming temperatures could increase suicide rates across the U.S. and Mexico. Michelle Horton, Stanford News, July 23, 2018.

Heat waves aren’t just physically harmful – research shows they can harm mental health, too. Jonathan Lambert, The Messenger, July 22, 2022.



Lõhmus, Mare. “Possible biological mechanisms linking mental health and heat—a contemplative review.” International journal of environmental research and public health 15.7 (2018): 1515. [PMID: 30021956]


Cedeño Laurent, Jose Guillermo, et al. “Reduced cognitive function during a heat wave among residents of non-air-conditioned buildings: An observational study of young adults in the summer of 2016.” PLoS medicine 15.7 (2018): e1002605.

Hancock, Peter A., and Ioannis Vasmatzidis. “Effects of heat stress on cognitive performance: the current state of knowledge.” International Journal of Hyperthermia 19.3 (2003): 355-372.

Liu, Jingwen, et al. “Is there an association between hot weather and poor mental health outcomes? A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Environment international 153 (2021): 106533.

Schmit, Cyril, et al. “Cognitive functioning and heat strain: performance responses and protective strategies.” Sports Medicine 47 (2017): 1289-1302. (Abstract.)


Miles-Novelo, Andreas, and Craig A. Anderson. “Climate change and psychology: Effects of rapid global warming on violence and aggression.” Current Climate Change Reports 5 (2019): 36-46. (Abstract)

Tiihonen, Jari, et al. “The association of ambient temperature and violent crime.” Scientific reports 7.1 (2017): 6543.


Burke, Marshall, et al. “Higher temperatures increase suicide rates in the United States and Mexico.” Nature climate change 8.8 (2018): 723-729.

psychiatric emergency room visits

Carlsen, Hanne Krage, et al. “Ambient temperature and associations with daily visits to a psychiatric emergency unit in Sweden.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16.2 (2019): 286.

Nori-Sarma, Amruta, et al. “Association between ambient heat and risk of emergency department visits for mental health among US adults, 2010 to 2019.” JAMA psychiatry 79.4 (2022): 341-349.

drug impacts

Martin-Latry, Karin, et al. “Psychotropic drugs use and risk of heat-related hospitalisation.” European Psychiatry 22.6 (2007): 335-338. (Abstract)


Obradovich, Nick, et al. “Nighttime temperature and human sleep loss in a changing climate.” Science advances 3.5 (2017): e1601555.

See also sleep and heat resources page.


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Header photo by Rapha Wilde on Unsplash.