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Climate change effects on mental health: are there workplace implications?

Publication date: 

28 Sep 2022


Occupational Medicine, Volume 73, Issue 3, April 2023, Pages 133–137


Brooks SK and Greenberg N

Publication type: 



Abstract Background Climate change can negatively affect mental health, and poor mental health can negatively affect work. However, less is known about the relationship between mental health and workplace behaviours within the climate change context. Aims To explore existing literature relating to climate-induced mental ill-health as a potential predictor of workplace behaviours. Methods Scoping review, searching five databases for relevant literature using two separate search strategies. Results Only five studies with any relevant data were found. Results could not be easily synthesized because each of the five considered different work-related outcomes. However, the available data suggest that the psychological impact of extreme events could lead to increased job tension, higher turnover intentions and workplace hostility. Stress about extreme weather could also impede the ability to make essential work-related decisions and, for those who work in the environmental sector, concerns about climate could lead to overcommitment to work. There was some evidence that social support might lessen the effects of climate-induced stress on work outcomes. Conclusions Very little literature considers the impacts of climate change on employees’ mental health and associated workplace function. The available evidence suggests there are potential negative impacts which may be mitigated by social support. It is important for future research to explore ways of supporting staff and fostering resilience.