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Call for Papers: Climate Change & Global Mental Health

Special Issue Call for Papers:

Climate change and Global Mental Health—Building a humane social climate

Climate change will make epochal demands on people, communities, and all the structures that support them. Climate change requires the mental health field—along with all areas of human endeavor—to urgently consider how it needs to change in order to contribute to facing those challenges, globally. These contributions will be critical, but will require intentional purpose and significant transformation to realize them.

For one thing, the scope of work of the Global Mental Health field needs to encompass the marked likely exacerbation in decades to come of trauma, mental illness, and impairing distress that we know result from weather-related disasters and chronic climate change exposures, as well as related disruptions to often already strained social, economic and political systems affecting other aspects of health, threatening the ability to meet basic needs, and forcing displacement and migration. The field of Global Mental Health also needs to help respond to and better understand the corrosive effects of growing background anticipatory worry and fear of climate change-related impacts, uncertainty about the future, and the development of new mental health constructs related to climate change.

Add to all that destructive impacts of climate change on mental health and well-being at the level of community, disrupting the very social ties, collective efficacy, and resilience, or the “social climate,” desperately needed to endure but also to collectively adapt to climate change as best we can, as localities will increasingly need to do for themselves.

We therefore invite a call for papers for a special issue of Global Mental Health, “Climate Change and Global Mental Health—Building a Humane Social Climate.” We look for contributions that both capture what we know about how to live up to the full scope of this challenge and that add novel empirical content to it, but also those that critically provoke new thinking about what will be needed for our field to live up to, if not lead on, that challenge.

We are especially interested in work that applies an equity lens and aims in that process, to more rapidly transition systems, to understand the priority needs of key populations (e.g., youth), to support preparation and response, and to promote psychosocial adaptation. These can include original empirical research (qualitative and quantitative) as well as rigorous case studies and proposed initiatives and policies.

The kinds of task-shared, community-embedded, cross-sector, collective impact-intended, tools and methods for doing mental health work that have emerged from the Global Mental Health field offer a far better toolkit for the future of humanity than the still prevailing medicalized, specialist office-visit, paradigm ideal. This special issue is an opportunity for the field of Global Mental Health to bring action and attention to these challenges.

We will consider all articles types that address the topics outlined above and will accept submissions on a rolling basis until 16 March 2020. Global Mental Health is a Gold Open Access publication. A full description of the journal’s Open Access policies, including article processing fees (APCs), our discretionary waiver policy, and how to submit can be found here. Visit to learn more about the journal.

Cambridge has Read & Publish agreements with a number of institutions and consortia to cover the costs of publishing open access, including the University of California, VSNU, and DFG. See the full list here.

Developing country and discretionary waivers are available across all our open access titles. Click here to learn more.