ACLA22 Winner, Schools for Climate Action – Spotlights Climate, Youth Activism and the Mental Health Crisis
In the latest episode of a three part series, “You Can Do This: Replicable Models for Local Climate Action”, ecoAmerica features Nancy Metzger-Carter. Nancy is Sonoma Academy’s Sustainability Curriculum Coordinator, STEM teacher, and the Schools for Climate Action campaign leader. She discusses Schools for Climate Action’s latest resolution (H. Res 975) on the mental health impacts of climate related disasters on today’s youth. Sonoma Academy students have first hand experience with living through harrowing wildfire disasters and the grief surrounding these traumatic climate related events.
Metzger-Carter addressed the lack of mental health support and space for grieving after the fires. “With the Tubbs Fire, there was no space for the 3,000 students who lost their homes to have any mental health support. We saw that this was a huge gap and wanted to address it through funding, play space, and expanding coverage with Medicaid. We wanted Congress to first acknowledge how the climate crisis impacts our youth.” Nancy elaborated on how youth initiated this resolution and were successful in getting this first piece of legislation moved forward to address how climate is affecting the young people of today.
Schools for Climate Action is one of the most successful nonpartisan, grassroots campaigns that seeks to engage the education sector to raise its voice for generational climate justice. Students draft climate action resolutions from their templates, engage school boards to acknowledge climate change as the biggest generational justice and equity issue of our time. Many school districts have thereafter committed to local climate goals. The organization has championed several important resolutions over the past few years on climate action.
Listen to learn more about their important work here: