Written by Rector’s Committee Climate Action Coordinator, Heather Fortune.

Think, listen and feel for the climate. University of St Andrews’ Rector’s Committee and Transition St Andrews launch eco-anxiety cafés for students, staff and community members of St Andrews.   

On Tuesday 16th of March between 5-6pm GMT, staff, students and community members can attend the first of a series of eco-anxiety cafés. These are designed to be a thinking and feeling space where attendees can freely talk about their worries over climate change.  

Eco-anxiety is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue in the modern-day world, and can encompass emotions such as anxiety, stress, grief, depression and denial associated with climate change. Almost 200 students reported that they had experienced some level eco-anxiety during their time at the university in a poll created on February 17th 2021. 129 of these students felt that they were unable to do anything to alleviate their eco-anxiety, so clearly there is a need for a safe space to discuss such emotions.

We hope these cafés can be a regular way to support those struggling with eco-anxiety and promote better mental wellbeing. With expertise and inspiration drawn from Climate Psychology Alliance and Climate Conversations, attendees will be invited to engage in discussion and will be provided with continued support after the session if they feel that they need or would like it.  

Anyone interested can join the café via Zoom! All details can be found on the Facebook event page. Please contact Heather, Rector’s Committee Climate Action Coordinator, at hf40@st-andrews.ac.uk if you have any questions.