For Indigenous Communities, Climate Crisis Could Prove Calamitous

For Indigenous Communities, Climate Crisis Could Prove Calamitous

Portrait of one Yugambeh Aboriginal warrior demonstrate fire making craft during Aboriginal culture show in Queensland, Australia.

Alan Rosen, AO, MBBS May 2020

Clinical Psychiatry News

Drought, fires, and pandemics lead to anxiety, depression, trauma

Indigenous peoples, whether living traditionally or assimilated, are among the first to be adversely affected by climate change. This is because, in part, of extreme poverty, inadequate housing, unemployment and other social determinants, transgenerational cultural losses of life and culture, dislocations, traumatic experiences of child removal, overrepresentation in the prison system, and chronic diseases already leading to dramatic disparities in life expectancy and other health outcomes.

Research confirms that rural and remote Aboriginal communities will be Australia’s first mass climate refugees. “Without action to stop climate change, people will be forced to leave their country and leave behind much of what makes them Aboriginal.”