Addressing Climate Anxiety: The CALM-EY Project Promotes Resilience in Youths

Addressing Climate Anxiety: The CALM-EY Project Promotes Resilience in Youths

Author: Juliana Zammit, volunteer at Friends of the Earth Malta and journalism student at MCAST

Climate-related emotions are becoming more common as the awareness of the urgency to act on climate change has become more mainstream. There has been an increase in the number of people expressing their experience of negative emotions, such as climate anxiety and distress about the future, as a result.

A participant from the Friends of the Earth Malta weekly organised youth hub commented, ‘‘If I do live longer than I believe, with the climate crisis in mind, I believe that I will have to live through many crises and endure a lot of suffering throughout it’’.

Young people with climate anxiety experience intense emotions like sadness, anxiety, anger, powerlessness, and guilt. The lack of open discussion and support spaces makes their isolation worse, hindering their ability to process their grief. Recognizing and addressing the emotional toll of climate anxiety is crucial, providing spaces for support and action to ease their mental burden.

The CALM-EY (Coping with Anxiety and Lowering Mental-health Effects in Youth) project is dedicated to addressing climate-related anxiety and stress among young people. It focuses on educating youth about accurate climate change information, teaching coping strategies, and empowering them to engage in climate action initiatives. 

By providing tools for young individuals to cope with climate worry and eco-anxiety independently and within their communities, the project aims to replace anxiety with hope. Additionally, it emphasises the importance of training youth workers and individuals working directly with young people to understand climate worry as a concept, enabling them to identify and support young individuals experiencing climate worry

The project is a collaborative effort involving, mental health professionals, educators, youth organisations, and environmental NGOs like Friends of the Earth Malta, NOAH, JKPEV,, and Eesti Roheline Liikumine. By providing knowledge, coping mechanisms, and a sense of agency, CALM-EY seeks to alleviate climate anxiety and foster hope in youth facing the challenges of climate change.

According to a report by EY*, 37% of Gen Z rank climate change as their number one personal concern, and 32% have personally taken action to address climate change in the last year. The report also highlights that more than three-quarters of Gen Z want environmental literacy taught at school, and 67% have spoken about the need for climate action at least once in the last few weeks.

The CALM-EY project, funded by the European Union, recognizes the growing concern of climate anxiety, particularly among younger generations who will end up facing the consequences of climate change impacts. The project will ultimately empower youth to navigate through these feelings by providing mental health support and coping mechanisms for those affected by eco-anxiety.

The overarching goals of the CALM-EY project are planned and built with several aims in mind that are designed to address the increase in climate anxiety among youth and empower youth to actively engage in environmental activism. These include the empowerment of youth, nurturing motivation to act, and providing appropriate resources and supportive spaces to help young people channel climate anxiety into positive climate action.

If you are interested in staying updated or joining the work to tackle climate anxiety, you can fill out a short form on the Friends Of the Earth Malta website. This is a great way to get involved and be part of a movement that is dedicated to making a real difference in the lives of young people and the planet. The project will be organising a ‘train the trainers’ programme and releasing a self-care book with exercises people can do alongside actions that can be taken to provide self-help methods for individuals dealing with climate distress.

For individuals seeking mental health support, the Richmond Foundation stands ready to assist. Through their website at, individuals can access resources and reach out for support, ensuring that help is readily available for those in need.

* EY, “How business and Gen Z can work together to tackle climate change”, No date

Donate now!