First and foremost, climate psychologist Dr Patrick Kennedy-Williams believes in the unstoppable power of the human spirit.
He strongly believes in an international parity of voices in the climate emergency and in 'passing the mic' to those in more affected areas worldwide, from whom we have much to learn.
‘The climate crisis isn't going anywhere soon, and we all have a role to play. Young people around the world shoulder the greatest burden and, as a result, report the greatest levels of distress,’
As a leading expert in the field of climate change-related mental health, we’re eager to hear Patrick’s keynote speech at our virtual Global Forum on International Higher Education Admission & Guidance on 16–18 November.
In his keynote, The green leaders of tomorrow: Fostering climate empowerment in young people, he’ll explore the impact of the climate crisis on our own and our students’ mental health. He’ll offer guidance on how to talk about climate change with young people and equip them to be the green leaders of tomorrow while fostering climate resilience to thrive in this new world.
At our virtual Global Forum, he’ll speak to university guidance counsellors at CIS member schools worldwide and university representatives at CIS member universities. They’ll learn about the Three Pillars of Climate Empowerment and how they relate to climate anxiety, how to address the emotional aspects of the climate crisis in their institution and access tools to promote the climate well-being of students.
When considering the biggest challenge facing educational institutions and students right now relating to students’ mental health and well-being, he told us:
‘The climate crisis isn't going anywhere soon, and we all have a role to play. Young people around the world shoulder the greatest burden and, as a result, report the greatest levels of distress, particularly in countries that are already on the forefront of a changing climate.
However, there is more to the story. Young people also tell us of their boundless motivation to take action. They want climate awareness to permeate all aspects of their school and university education.
The challenge, and the opportunity, therefore, is for educators to equip students to be the green leaders of tomorrow, whilst fostering climate resilience to allow them to thrive in this new world.’
We asked Patrick to name three practical ways his virtual 2022 Global Forum session will motivate his audience to take action when they return to university or school. He told us:
- Learn the Three Pillars of Climate Empowerment and how they relate to climate anxiety
- Feel more skilled in addressing the emotional aspects of the climate crisis in your education environment
- Be equipped with some tools to promote the climate well-being of students
He holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Oxford and is the co-director of Climate Psychologists, an independent organisation providing therapeutic support and wider consultation regarding the mental health implications of climate change. Patrick has collaborated with local and national governments, businesses, and educators on community-based initiatives for climate anxiety and fostering people-centred and sustainable change towards net zero.
He has worked with international broadcasters such as the BBC, CNBC, Sky, DW, ITV, Channel 4 (UK) and the Today Show (USA). His work has been featured in media outlets such as The Guardian, Reuters, BBC, Time Magazine, Vogue Business, and The Sunday Times (UK).
Alongside contributing to research articles and book chapters related to the psychology of climate change, Patrick is also co-author of the recent book 'Turn the Tide on Climate Anxiety', published by Hachette/Jessica Kingsley and an upcoming book for young people, 'Unstoppable Us', due out next year. He has also recently launched ‘The Climate Marathon’, a climate empowerment and well-being platform for businesses. You can also find Climate Psychologists on Instagram.
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- Read more posts about well-being on the CIS Perspectives blog
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- University admission & guidance