Climate change’s impact on youth mental health examined in OHA report

SALEM, Ore. (KGW) — A new report from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) examines the impact of climate change on youth and teen mental health.

Oregon health officials will hold a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss their findings, joined by several Oregon youth who will share their own experiences.

Speakers will include lead author Julie Early Sifuentes with OHA’s Climate and Health Program and Dr. Meg Cary, child and adolescent psychiatrist and senior health advisor at OHA, who served as an adviser to the study.

RELATED: Students walk out of class Friday to participate in Portland climate strike

The press conference comes as Oregon has seen an increasing number of youth and student walkouts, protests and ongoing movements to demand action on climate change.

In one recent example, thousands of students from across Portland walked out of class on May 20 to stage a rally for climate justice outside Portland City Hall. The protest singled out the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Portland Business Alliance, NW Natural and Zenith Energy as local “climate villains.”

RELATED: ‘We’re fighting for our futures’: Thousands of Portland teens walk out, demanding action on climate change

The local branch youth climate action group Sunrise Movement have staged ongoing protests and demonstrations to call for more urgency in cutting carbon emissions, including calling for a moratorium on freeway expansion and targeting ODOT’s planned I-5 Rose Quarter Project.

Sunrise Movement PDX also staged a protest during President Joe Biden’s visit to Portland in April, calling for Biden to show greater leadership on climate action at the federal level as well.

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