Here are 3 ways to bring more emotional skills to people to develop better climate change resilience:
1. Emotional literacy campaigns. Drawing from Six Seconds’ emphasis on emotional literacy, launch a campaign to recognize and understand emotions related to climate change and infectious diseases. This includes acknowledging feelings of anxiety, anger, and powerlessness but also optimism and hope to provide tools for managing these emotions effectively.
2. Community engagement initiatives for emotional well-being. Community campaigns can foster open discussions, involve local leaders, and create platforms for sharing concerns and solutions. Partnering with local organizations, mental health professionals, and community leaders can create a more comprehensive support network. This approach raises awareness and strengthens community bonds, which are essential for resilience.
3. Resilience building programs. Public health policies can incorporate training and workshops that build emotional resilience in communities. Most initiatives in mental health are clinical interventions requiring licensed health care professionals, who are in short supply. We need more programs that can be delivered by teachers, community leaders, grandparents, or youth leaders. These programs can teach coping strategies to manage stress and adapt to changing environmental and health challenges.
By integrating these emotional intelligence–focused strategies, awareness campaigns, and well-being programs, we can more effectively address the emotional aspects of climate change and infectious diseases, fostering greater awareness and resilience in communities.