Wildfires & Mental Health

"Wildfires can result in anxiety even for people who are hundreds of kilometres away, as smoke alters the air we breathe and the sunsets we see at night," says Environment Reporter Wendy Stueck in the Globe & Mail.

In this article, entitled How to manage climate-related anxiety and stress, Stueck talked to Dr. Steven Taylor, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, about how Canada's wildfires can impact our mental health.

Dr. Taylor describes the "existential threat" we face when confronted with climate changes reminders such as wildfire smoke, and to watch out for mental health red flags: "You're not sleeping, you’re worrying all the time, you’re irritable, you’re eating more, you’re shopping online more, you’re drinking more – those are red flags that it would be a good idea to look at your mental health, and try to do something about it."

"Having a sense of control is important," he continued. "If people feel that they’re in an uncontrollable world, they tend to get very anxious. So one idea is to develop a personal action plan for doing your little bit about climate change. It may not seem like much, but collectively these things can have an impact. And stress management. Filter your dose of alarming media. We all need to stay informed, but you don’t need to be absorbed in it 24/7."

If your mental health is being impacted by wildfires to the point where you are struggling to continue working, you may have a legitimate claim for short term or long term disability benefits. Call our experienced team at 1-888-777-1109 any time to find out more.

Read the full Globe & Mail article here.

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