“Det viktiga går att ha kvar.” Existentiella perspektiv på klimatkrisen : en kvalitativ religionspsykologisk fallstudie på individ-, grupp- och samhällsnivå

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Teologiska institutionen

Sammanfattning: Climate change is perceived as one of the most serious threats to humanity. Overthe last decade self-reported anxiety has increased in the Swedish population,especially among children and young adults. In the context of perceived secularity of the Swedish population, the existential questions in the community and inindividuals might be difficult to address. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore existential perspectives within the scope of climate anxiety, and how young adults cope withthe existential concerns. The study also investigated how professionals support young people experiencing existential questions connected to climate change. The design of the study is holistic including micro, meso and macro levels. Empirical data was collected within the framework of the project Terra-Pi/Klimatkraft, developing methods to support young people to better deal with climate-related thoughts and feelings. Phenomenologically inspired interviews were conducted with three young adults and two professionals whose work involves dimensions of young people´s climate worry. An observation was conducted at a Climate Power Group meeting in the project. Further, the study investigated the meaning of existential health, resilience and climate change in the proposal for a new national strategy for mental health, through a content analysis and an interview with anexpert at the Public Health Agency of Sweden. In this study, a deductive thematic analysis was performed to explore the applicability of the “givens of existence” (Yalom 1980), developmental resilience theory (Masten 2021; Ungar 2021) and the connection between meaning making, health and culture according to psychology of religion in Scandinavia. Participants described experiences of existential dimensions adhered to death anxiety, existential quilt, meaninglessness and meaning, existential isolation and future orientation/temporality. Most important coping strategies were climate activism, support from attachment relationships and finding a personal meaning.The project Terra-Pi/Klimatkraft boosts important protective factors for resilience in the participants, and supports the capacity of the professionals to do so. The proposal for a new national strategy for mental health confirms the connection between existential issues and mental health as well as the importance of increased knowledge and interventions within that field. Society would benefit from social actors providing spaces, contexts and competence for addressing existential issues that the climate crisis evokes.

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