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Sustainably balancing the wellbeing of people and our planet: Learning from lockdowns and the intersecting climate, environmental, and mental health crises 
Annie Jeffery (UCL)
Bella Vivat (UCL)
Xandra Miguel-Lorenzo (CI Trust)
Thursday 7 July, 15:00-16:00 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

Restricting people's activities during the pandemic positively benefited the environment, but also increased social inequalities and mental health consequences. Our workshop will develop ideas for a "new normal" in the global North and South to optimise wellbeing of both people and the planet.

Long Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic hugely affected the lives of everyone across the world. Restricted activities and travel, often for many months at a time, positively benefited the climate. Yet, loss of social contact, employment and leisure activities, or having to work in hazardous and poorly paid jobs, severely affected social inequalities and mental health.

We now look to possibilities for a "new normal", and a "just transition" to more sustainable living. We ask whether it is possible to learn from the benefits of restricted human activities for the environment, while safeguarding mental health and equity.

Our workshop is led by the UCL Division of Psychiatry's Green Team and others. We're keen to explore and expand an approach used with Divisional postgraduate students, to a wider DSA2022 audience.

We will:

1. Generate thoughts on wellbeing for people and planet

2. Develop ideas for a "new normal" and possibilities for environmental interventions that also support people's wellbeing.

We'll share workshop ideas on our Green Team website, encouraging future activities and strategy, including developing related research projects.

Before the workshop we'll share information on the climate/environment, mental health, and inequality.

All workshop delegates will meet, and then move into breakout rooms. Subgroups will brainstorm wellbeing, positive changes brought by lockdowns, and how lockdowns affected mental health and inequalities. We'll consider how an environmentally-friendly "new normal" might be implemented sustainably, including supporting equality and wellbeing.

The group will then reconvene to share and discuss implications for future individual and collective action.

Accepted contributions: