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Lund takes action on climate anxiety among youngsters

Lund takes action on climate anxiety among youngsters

A new project will show both teachers and students how to cope with that particular challenge

Those who might doubt the existence of something called ‘climate anxiety’ in young people should look no further than the global success of activist Greta Thunberg and the following she has amassed. It is, thus, no surprise that it is her home country of Sweden that is also coming up with an experimental project to alleviate that modern phenomenon.

The City of Lund, through the ‘Klimatsmart skola’ project, has disbursed an environmental grant to the Fäladsskolan school in the city in order to carry out educational techniques that will harness that anxiety in a way that can help students understand democracy, society and how they can take action. The ultimate goal? Improve the youngsters’ mood and mental wellbeing.

Worrying about the climate is worrying about the future

The realization of the serious situation that humankind is currently in due to negative climate prognosis, in combination with young people not feeling that adults are acting forcefully enough, can contribute to strong emotions such as anxiety, indifference, anger and disappointment.

Through the pilot project (to take place in the spring of 2022), students in grades 4-6 at Fäladsskolan in Lund will receive support to manage their knowledge of climate change. It will also teach them how to have agency, with the result of hopefully raising a generation that shows stronger commitment to environmental issues than the previous ones.

“An important part of our work for a world-class education is to equip our students with the will, courage and abilities to contribute to positive societal development. The Klimatsmart school project contributes partly to students' involvement in climate issues, and partly to school students feeling energized and having access to concrete tools to contribute to sustainable societal development,” stated Jytte Lindborg, school director.

Several approaches and methods will be used within the framework of the project. Mainly training and workshops will be conducted to give educators concrete tools for how hope, faith in the future and commitment can be created in the classroom. Between the training sessions, the knowledge will be tested in practice within the various school subjects.

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