News Releases

The UWI leads regional dialogue on climate change and mental health

For Release Upon Receipt - August 25, 2023


The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. Thursday, August 24, 2023—The Latin American-Caribbean Centre (LACC) of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) hosted an inaugural regional dialogue on the impact of climate change on mental health on August 23.

Researchers, experts and stakeholders with personal experience on the effects of climate change gathered from across Latin America and the Caribbean for the virtual forum, held under the ground-breaking, global project, ‘Connecting Climate Minds’. This project, which seeks to address the often-overlooked link between climate change and mental health, aims to produce an inclusive and actionable research agenda for the emerging field. 

Connecting Climate Minds has created a global research community of practice, harnessing experts from seven regions of the world: Latin America and the Caribbean; Sub-Saharan Africa; Northern Africa and Western Asia; Central and South-Eastern Asia; Eastern and South-Eastern Asia; Oceania; and Europe and North America. The dialogues foster a collaboration across this diverse global group to create an aligned vision and connected community of practice for research at the climate change and mental health nexus. Experts working in these fields come from Imperial College London, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Climate Mental Health Network, SustyVibes, Force of Nature, St Luke’s Medical Center and Claretian University, together with The University of the West Indies. 

Representing The UWI are researchers, Dr. Sandeep Maharaj and Dr. Natalie Greaves, along with Ambassador Gillian Bristol, Director of LACC, who served as Project Lead, heading the dialogues in the Latin American and Caribbean region. 

According to Ambassador Bristol, “Climate change and mental health are recognised as two of the greatest global challenges the region faces. Their interconnections pose challenges and risks to citizens’ health and well-being and demand proactive and informed leadership. Attention to the mental health impacts of the climate crisis has grown rapidly in the past year, yet the climate and mental health space remains fragmented. While there has been progress in some places, critical gaps remain in others. This is a crucial time for the multi-disciplinary climate and mental health communities to come together to develop a research agenda that leads to policy change that meets the needs of affected people throughout the world”. 


About The University of the West Indies

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region for the past 75 years. 

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Global Campus, and global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world. 

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean in the World University Rankings, it is also in the top 25 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action. 

2023 marks The UWI’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond jubilee milestone themed “UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.” features initiatives purposely designed and aligned to reflect on the past, confront the present, and articulate plans for the future of the regional University. 

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