Climate Change - Strategies for emotional wellbeing

Click to play Isobel Davis' family on the beach at Batehaven, shrouded in orange bushfire haze, after having lost her parents' house to the bushfires.

To watch this event, click on the play button on the image above or play it on our YouTube page. To see the presentation slides, click here (PDF 2.1MB).

As we consider our changing climate and what it means for our future, we can experience a wide variety of emotions, ranging from feeling connected, energised and hopeful to despair, anger and frustration. Climate change can also seem like such an overwhelming issue that it’s much easier to try to avoid thinking about it at all.

So, how can we stay actively engaged on climate change and avoid emotional burnout?

Join us in this event to hear from clinical psychologists, Dr Bronwyn Gresham and Dr Susie Burke, as they discuss techniques and strategies for dealing with these complex emotions.

The presentations will be followed by a Q&A session led by Dr Rebecca Colvin, with an opportunity for questions from the audience.

These events will be recorded. The recording will be made available after the event through the ANU Climate Change Institute YouTube channel.

By registering for this webinar you are also subscribing to the ANU Climate Change Institute / Energy Change Institute mailing list. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe button at the bottom of correspondence.

You can find some more resources by Br Bronwyn Gresham and Dr Susie Burke on this topic below:

Dealing with burnout (PDF 0.4MB)

Coping with Climate Change Distress (PDF 1.5MB)

This event is co-hosted by the Climate Change Institute and the Resources, Environment and Development Program of the Crawford School of Public Policy.

About the speakers

Dr Susie Burke

Dr Susie Burke is a psychologist, climate activist and parent, with many years of experience working on climate change and disasters. A key interest is in the role that psychology plays in helping us understand the causes, impacts and solutions to climate change and other environmental threats, including natural disasters. For 17 years she was the senior psychologist at the Australian Psychological Society and developed numerous resources, training programs and workshops on these topics, including the Climate Change Empowerment Handbook, the Psychological First Aid Handbook, and other materials on coping with climate change, raising children for a climate altered world, and disaster preparedness and recovery.  She is now working in private practice as a psychologist in Castlemaine, consulting to councils, groups and organisations, and running workshops and individual sessions to help people cope with and come to terms with climate change, including how to raise children in and for a climate altered world.  Susie is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society. She is raising bike riders, school strikers and fruit trees, and is very pleased that her council has just declared a Climate Emergency in the Shire.  

Dr Bronwyn Gresham

Dr Bronwyn Gresham is a Melbourne-based registered clinical psychologist who is passionate about building individual and organisational resilience. She completed her doctorate in 2006 where she focused on learning about therapeutic ways to be with trauma, personality, mental health conditions and common life challenges like loss and grief. In doing so, she developed therapeutic skills focused on mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, crisis management, living through values and self-compassion. In 2019, Bronwyn joined RMIT University as their Senior Advisor for Mental Wellbeing where she strategised, evaluated and contributed to the clinical direction for the RMIT Wellbeing strategic Action Plan 2020-2025. Bronwyn is also the proud founder of Compassionate Nature, an organisation dedicated to the focus on self-care for caregivers of people, animals and nature, as well as healthcare professionals.


Image - This image was taken by Isobel Davis during the 2019-20 Australian bushfires, and shows her family on the beach at Batehaven. To read more about Isobel's experience of the 2019-20 bushfires, you can read her article on the Australian Water Association website here.