Ecological Grief and Climate Anxiety Wellness Toolkit

Overview: 

WELL 400 is a required course within the Embedded Certificate in Mental Wellbeing and Resilience. The primary goal of the course is to encourage students to reflect and integrate experiential learning, and engage in applied problem solving. With the focus being on helping students to become agents of change, fostering mental wellbeing in the community. Student groups from the WELL 400 course were partnered with stakeholders both internal and external to the university, and were each tasked with developing a wellness intervention to a specific challenge in mental health and wellbeing. There are many aspects of belonging to an organization or community that negatively impact individuals’ health and there are many different ways to respond to these unhealthy situations. This course examined mental health issues, such as stress and burnout, as well as individual coping strategies and groups responses to promote mental health and wellness.

For their project, students Natasha Fund, Jemie Field, Merissa Dawson, Jamal Kadri and Nicole Langevin examined the issue of ecological grief and climate anxiety due to the intersectional relationship between mental health and sustainability. 

Outcomes: 

  • Investigated and researched best practices for promoting and securing mental health and wellbeing for those experiencing feelings of ecological grief and climate anxiety
  • Prepared a presentation for their institutional stakeholder from the Office of Sustainability 
  • Proposed a community-engagement initiative in the form of an online resource toolkit that would be available for members of the UCalgary and broader community. The toolkit consisted of a number of activities and resources to help individuals cope when experiencing ecological grief and climate anxiety. 

Next Steps: 

  • The Office of Sustainability and Campus Mental Health Strategy team are developing an online toolkit as proposed by the students with resources to help the campus and broader communities.