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Position Pieces

Vol 7 No 2 (2020): September 2020

Naming and framing ecological distress

DOI
https://doi.org/10.17157/mat.7.2.768
Submitted
November 10, 2019
Published
September 30, 2020

Abstract

]We are living in a time of massive anthropogenic ecological and climatic shifts. Awareness of these changes and their effects on human lives is increasing, with recognised impacts on mental health. At present, a variety of different terms exist to describe ecological change-related distress. They range from the philosophical to the clinical, and are already beginning to form part of professional practice, as well as popular discourse, with prescriptive implications. In this piece, I explore some of the different names and frames for ecological distress by drawing on a sample of 30 online articles, blogs, and videos, and bringing these into dialogue with scholarly literature. My purpose is to open up a conversation about how medical anthropologists might attend to the meaning-making processes that surround ecological distress and (individual, institutional, and political) responses to it.