Tackling climate anxiety with a social-emotional skills program from Finland
The Finnish education technology program Mightifier has launched among the first ones in the world a social-emotional learning curriculum to tackle climate anxiety. According to a recent global study, 75 % of 16-25 years olds see their future as frightening because of climate change. With the Mightifier Climate Resiliency program, teachers have tools to support their students to better cope with the anxiety and build future hope with concrete joint actions.
“Today, on October the 5th, as we celebrate UNESCO’s World Teachers Day, we want global focus on the anxiety that climate change causes to our youth. We hope our new special program can help in dealing with it”, says Mervi Pänkäläinen, CEO of Mightifier.
According to researchers, some young people see climate anxiety as a positive thing: it can help in changing their behavior and evaluating their values. However, to a big part of the youth, climate anxiety impacts their mental health and can, for instance, cause sleeplessness.
“We need a variety of activities, which can help children and young people work on their feelings around anxiety, fears, and hopelessness. One great way is to work on behalf of our planet actively. Concrete actions like recycling, changing one’s consumption habits, evaluating one’s diet, considering environmental ways of transportation, participating in demonstrations and projects can help. However, as young people cannot impact all of these, other measures are also needed, ” explains Laura-Maria Sinisalo, pedagogical director of Mightifier.
Mightifier Climate Resilience program combines social-emotional learning skills, character strengths, and concrete activities to directly talk about anxiety, climate change, and its impact. Themes like fairness towards the environment, the power of teamwork, and gratitude for what nature offers us build future hope: together, we can be the change.
Schools participating in the Climate Resilience program will run their climate project to benefit their community. All projects around the world will be visible so schools can learn from each other.
“I am so excited to turn the speech into action finally, and strengthen the future hope of our youth,” closes Sinisalo.