how is the environment and climate change affecting your health? surrounded by smoke from an exhaust pipe and rising sea levels

The AYPH Youth Advisory Panel are leading an inquiry into how climate change affects young people’s health in the UK. You can watch this BBC bitesize video about climate change or read how the United Nations explains it. The views and experiences you share with us will set the agenda for our campaign work and will be shared with policymakers and those working to improve young people’s health. We want to understand how the environment and climate change is impacting on young people’s health now. If you are an adult who wants to support a group of young people to respond to this enquiry, check out our free discussion guide.

We want to know from you:

From your background and experience, how does climate change affect your health? 

You can send your answers to this question in writing, video, audio, poetry, art, etc.  Whatever way you feel most able to express yourself.

What do we mean by background/experience?

Sometimes where we live, or the community we live in, can make a big difference to how we experience climate change and the impact it will have on our health. As a young person you might feel the impacts of climate change differently if you live in:

  • an urban area or the countryside
  • a house with a garden or a tower block far from the nearest park
  • an area that gets flooded or has lots of air pollution
  • a community where you feel supported and accepted or one where you experience isolation or discrimination

We’re interested in how environmental issues and climate change are affecting your health and wellbeing. 

What do we mean by health?

Our health is how we feel in our body and mind. They are connected and sometimes when we are physically unwell, this impacts our mental health. Similarly when we are down or not feeling great, this can affect our bodies, through headaches, tummy issues etc. So when we talk about how climate change impacts your health we are interested in your mental, physical and social health and the ways they overlap. Some of the ways that climate change may impact our health:

  • how you manage a long term condition or disability can change
  • weather events that change how easily you can access services
  • temperature increase or pollution may have a direct impact on how your body feels
  • climate change may impact the type of food we can get
  • fear or worry about the future may affect how you live right now
  • your concerns or experiences can even affect your relationships with other people

There are many more aspects to health. We’re interested in hearing about your specific experience of health and climate change.