OHA report tackles impact of climate change on youth mental health

Oregon health officials will discuss their findings at a press conference on Tuesday morning, joined by several young people from Oregon who will share their own experiences.

SALEM, Ore. — A new report from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) examines the impact of climate change on the mental health of young people and adolescents.

Oregon health officials will hold a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss their findings, joined by several young people from Oregon who will share their own experiences.

KGW will stream the conference live in the player above and on YouTube and the KGW app.

RELATED: Students Walk Out of Class Friday to Participate in Portland Climate Strike

Speakers will include lead author Julie Early Sifuentes of the OHA’s Climate and Health program and Dr. Meg Cary, child and adolescent psychiatrist and senior health advisor at the OHA, who served as an advisor on the study.

The press conference comes as Oregon has seen a growing number of youth and student walkouts, protests and ongoing movements to demand action on climate change.

In a recent example, thousands of students from across Portland walked out of class on May 20 to hold a rally for climate justice outside Portland City Hall. The protest named the Oregon Department of Transportation, Portland Business Alliance, NW Natural and Zenith Energy as local “climate villains.”

RELATED: ‘We are fighting for our future’: Thousands of Portland teens come out, demanding action on climate change

Local branch youth climate action group Sunrise Movement has organized protests and ongoing protests to call for more urgency in reducing carbon emissions, including calling for a moratorium on expansion of the freeway and targeting ODOT’s I-5 Rose Quarter Project.

Sunrise Movement PDX also held a protest during President Joe Biden’s visit to Portland in April, calling on Biden to show greater leadership on climate action at the federal level as well.

Teresa H. Sadler