Date of Award

January 2024

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Sarah Lowe

Second Advisor

Annie Harper


Objective: This study aims to explore how engagement with art may shape emotions related to the climate crisis and expand the conception of art as a mechanism of public health practice.Background: Climate change impacts human health not only physically but also psychologically, manifesting in symptoms of climate emotions (e.g., ecological grief, eco-anxiety, eco-paralysis) that arise as a result of changes to the earth and our relationship to the natural world. These symptoms are among the pressing mental health effects of climate change. Methods: A qualitative approach utilizing the Rapid Assessment Process (RAP) was employed to conduct semi-structured interviews (N=10) with artists who create art of climate change subject matter. Results: (1) Creating climate art elicits a sense of agency in climate artists. (2) Creating art specific to communicating environmental crises is not particularly healing to climate emotions; creating art is healing regardless of subject matter. (3) Community climate art is the most effective mechanism to address climate emotions. (4) Creating art about nature, especially when physically in nature and with community, fosters pro-environmental identities and momentum towards sustainability. Conclusion: The findings suggest that integrating arts into public health practice may enhance community resilience and individual well-being, advocating for future efforts to incorporate art as a strategy for climate communication and mental health intervention.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access