Summary of results from national study of the impact of climate-fueled disasters on the mental health of Australians
Australians are facing increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather disasters driven by climate change. In December 2022, Climate Council, supported by Beyond Blue, undertook an extensive two-part national study designed to better understand the impact of climate-fuelled disasters on mental health in Australia, and how best to support the wellbeing, recovery and resilience of communities.
The key findings are:
- The majority (80%) of Australians reported experiencing some form of disaster at least once since 2019, of which 63% said heatwaves, 47% flooding, 42% bushfires, 36% drought, 29% destructive storms, and 8% landslides.
- People living in rural and regional areas are significantly more likely to have experienced flooding at least once since 2019 (61%) than people living in urban areas (38%). Similarly, country residents were more likely to have been affected by a bushfire at least once (49%) than people in urban areas (36%).
- People in Queensland and New South Wales are the most likely to have experienced multiple disasters since 2019. Specifically, 38% of Queenslanders and 34% of people in New South Wales reported experiencing flooding more than once since 2019 (compared to 13% in Victoria, 5% in Western Australia, 4% in South Australia, and national average of 24%.)
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