Ever feel unease that the natural environment around you is changing for the worse? There’s a word for that.

Solastalgia: the distress caused by environmental change.

Solastalgia is when your endemic sense of place is being violated. A portmanteau of the words ‘solace’ and ‘nostalgia’ – is used not just in academia but more widely, in clinical psychology and health policy in Australia.

Place is important to all of us. It speaks to our identity, our community, our mortality and our destiny.

While in nostalgia that pain relates to leaving one's home, in a sense solastagia is what happens when you remain within the same locality, but that sense of "home", that sense of place, is lost through the destruction of the landscape; "it is the homesickness you have when you are still at home".

Some Australian farming groups have reported having lost confidence in the seasonal rhythms of the weather and in their ability to know it. Often the loss of confidence is associated with anxieties about their long-term future. Prolonged drought can adversely affect Aboriginal communities whose identity is intimately linked to their connection with, and caring of, the land.

Symptoms include feelings of grief, trauma, alienation, depression, anxiety and loss.

Surveys show that many young people express worry, fear and anxiety about the Earth’s health in their future lives and believe that the world may end in their lifetime because of climate change and other global threats. Do we need to find a voice that discusses our relationship with nature in a more comprehensive manner…

References: 1.The Lancet’s 2015 Health and Climate Change report 2. American Psychological Association published a report, Mental Health and our Changing Climate: impacts, implications and guidance, -https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/03/mental-health-climate.pdf 3. Justin Lawson from Melbourne’s Deakin University- Researcher 4. Glen Albrecht -Philosopher and Psychologist New South Wales University.