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Debbie Sturm
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Debbie Sturm Presents

Counselors and the Climate Crisis:

An Opening Conversation

Now Available On-Demand

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1 CE Credit

About the CE Credits Offered
CE Details: 1.0 General

Counselors: This program has been approved for 1.0 continuing education clock hours by the Louisiana Counseling Association as authorized by the Louisiana Professional Counselor Licensing Board of Examiners.

About Debbie Sturm, PhD, LPC

Dr. Debbie Sturm is a 2008 graduate of UNC-Charlotte's Counselor Education program, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and currently an Associate Professor at James Madison University in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Her clinical specialties include trauma, community violence, family systems, and nature-connectedness. She has graduate coursework, training, and teaching in environmental advocacy, environmental education, climate resilience efforts, environmental justice, and communication strategies. She is a member of ACA’s Climate Crisis Task Force and Human Rights Committee. She received the 2013 SACES Award for Outstanding Teaching and the 2020 SACES Courtland Lee Social Justice Award. She is a trained member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, “a global network of activists committed to spreading awareness of the climate crisis and working for solutions to the greatest challenge of our time” and a Climate Café leader with the Climate Psychology Alliance. In 2017, Dr. Sturm wrote the first article on climate and mental health to appear in ACA’s Counseling Today. Since then, she has published two book chapters and two encyclopedia entries on the impact of climate on mental health. She has produced a dozen (including in-press) peer-reviewed journal articles and delivered 18 conference presentations on climate justice and climate-related issues.  She is deeply passionate about expanding this conversation among counselors across the country.

About the Workshop

Content Level: Beginner

The impact of the climate crisis on mental health has been well-documented in a number of key reports, such as the IPCC report (Human Health, Chapter 8), US National Climate Report, the U.S Global Change Research Program, and ecoAmerica’s Mental Health & Our Changing Climate, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Climate Reality Project, the American Public Health Association, and the Psychological Impact of Climate Change. Researchers predict a sharp rise in mental health issues resulting from the climate crisis in the coming years. These issues include depression and anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, suicide and outbreaks of violence. The elderly, the poor, and children were identified as being among those who will be most psychologically vulnerable. Counselors hold expertise in trauma-informed approaches to resilience, disaster response and recovery, developmental and wellness approaches, and a humanistic connection to the lived experiences of clients. We also have a strong social justice lens that will be helpful in work with clients, our communities, and other professionals. This workshop introduces the role of the counselor in facing climate change with our clients and communities.


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About Climate Crisis

Over the past twenty or more years, evidence has been mounting with regard to the impact of climate change on human health and well-being. This evidence ranges from declarations of climate change as a global human rights issue to considerations for migration, disaster response and preparedness, and overall feelings of concern for the future. Further, the consequences of climate change can have a profound impact on mental health through both its direct impact and its impact on social support systems and cultural traditions. People who experience the loss of homes or loved ones, or are exposed to life- threatening situations, face higher risks of developing stress and anxiety-related mental health issues. Our most vulnerable neighbors are also most vulnerable to the negative impact of climate change.


Learning Objectives:

  • Upon completion, participants will be able to understand the mental health impact of the increasing climate crisis with specific local and regional implications.
  • Upon completion, participants will be able to describe the social justice impact on vulnerable populations, migration, and community resilience as well as the roles counselors can play.
  • Upon completion, participants will have an understanding of the work conducted by the American Counseling Association's Task Force on the Climate Crisis and Mental Health and reflect upon their own point of advocacy or intervention.

How to Register

To register for the workshop, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Click the "Register" button to begin the registration process.
  2. You MUST have a profile to attend this event. You will be directed to sign up or sign in to before being able to complete your registration. Once you sign up or sign in you will be directed to the workshop registration page to complete your registration.
  3. You MUST use the email address associated with your profile at registration. This is an important step so we can verify attendance accurately.
  4. You will be able to access the event by visiting the "My Events" page within your profile. Please access the event link at this page at least 15 minutes prior to the event's start time to be directed to the Zoom registration page.
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Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions!

System Requirements

- A desktop, laptop, or mobile device
- An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
- Speakers and a microphone
- A webcam or HD webcam

Recorded Content Statement:

This session is being recorded for future on-demand continuing education.

You have no obligation to appear or speak in the recording. You can turn off your video and participate under an alias if you choose. If you choose to participate in an identifiable way, you agree to being recorded and authorize the use of the recording for continuing education purposes. The information shown in this presentation is the sole intellectual property of the presenter(s) and is not to be used or duplicated without first-party permission.

By participating, you agree to adhere to expectations of appropriate conduct and the ethical standards of your appropriate licensing board. maintains the right to remove anyone during this session at any time. The following are strictly prohibited:
Language or behavior that is obscene, illegal, or offensive, including but not limited to sexual harassment, hate speech, etc
Giving out personal information about another person, including home address and phone number

By participating, you reaffirm your agreement to comply with the User Terms & Conditions.