NIH Studying Climate Effects on Mental Health of Kids

A watchdog over the federal government’s wasteful spending has reported that the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has spent around $413,000 of taxpayer money to study adverse impacts on the mental health of young people related to climate change.

OpenTheBooks.com CEO Adam Andrzejewski said that if the bureaucrats and politicians are concerned about “producing anxiety, perhaps they should also consider letting up on their unrelenting alarmism.”

The NIEHS is a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), along with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The project’s “public health relevance statement,” designed to justify its existence, says that “despite the frequency of climate-related natural disasters,” science does not know much about how things like heat waves affect the mental health of younger people.

The “Causal Analysis of the Complex Mental Health Impacts of the Climate Crisis in Young People” claims that scientific research now “recognizes” the part played by environmental factors in “negative mental health and well-being outcomes.”

The project appears to rely on a “recent survey” that indicates 70% of young people are worried about their futures because of “planetary changes.” It cites the “compounding and cascading effect of concurrent” weather events as another reason taxpayers should fund the additional research.

The organizers say they will rely on data obtained from the nonprofit Crisis Text Line to learn how young people are affected by fear of climate change. Crisis Text Line is reliant on self-reporting by people who express a need for “mental health help” because of “extreme climate events.”

The project says it expects to develop a meaningful understanding of how patterns of mental health episodes vary according to specific weather-related issues. It also says it will identify community responses that “promote mental health resilience in youth impacted by a climate disaster.”

Andrzejewski described the program as a “waste of taxpayer dollars” since professionals already know the results of the research the project contemplates. We already know that people suffering from anxiety typically benefit from counseling with professionals trained to help them. He said that even if climate change is a new contributing factor to the condition, the treatment will remain the same.

He added that the rhetoric of climate alarmism is what turns “a rough patch of weather into the latest sign of a global calamity.”