Mental health: a key component of Cape Town’s response to climate change

Futurecasting Cape Town event series
Friday, 12 November 2021
10:00 – 11:30am

Register here

Cape Town residents have shown remarkable resilience in response to recurrent droughts and other natural disasters and more recently, the COVID pandemic. How can individuals and communities maintain and promote mental well-being in the facing of growing climate change risks?

The City of Cape Town’s Climate Change Action Plan – released in October – spells out the critical need to “ensure that mental health is adequately addressed as part of the City’s climate change response.” Similarly, Goal 1.1 in the City’s Resilience Strategy aims to “increase awareness, access to, and uptake of mental health support.”

This Futurecasting webinar will explore  the primary risks that climate change poses to mental health, and how the City of Cape Town can build on existing efforts to support mental health in the face of crises, while learning from successful responses in other cities and countries.  

Speakers will explore, among other questions

  • Examples of how climate change can impact on mental health 
  • Growing vidence of how climate change is affecting mental health in Cape Town and other global cities
  • What government can do to support efforts by communities and the private sector to tackle mental health challenges
  • What Cape Town residents can do to strengthen their mental health and resilience in the context of climate change

Facilitator: Leonie Joubert, science writer and author 


  • Sarah Birch, Climate Change Adaptation lead at DEA&DP, Western Cape Government and Mental Health Coach  
  • Gabriel Klassen, Youth Leader, African Climate Alliance, Cape Flats
  • Mary Ann ‘Max’ Cullinan, Clinical Psychologist, Cape Town

About the Futurecasting Cape Town series

Futurecasting is a well-established approach to model the future and anticipate changes in a sector or society in the coming 10 to 15 years. It combines past patterns and trends with current insights and includes futures thinking to help shape the future and mitigate any possible risks. 

The Futurecasting Cape Town series, convened by the City of Cape Town’s Resilience Department with support from the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP) provides an opportunity to model the future around critical issues facing Cape Town and influence decisions that will reflect shared values and drive innovation. The series underscores a key element of the City of Cape Town’s Resilience Strategy towards collaborative partnering with business to support resilience. Speakers from across sectors will be invited to share insights and ideas for a common inclusive and resilient future. 

The Futurecasting Cape Town series runs from August 2021 until June 2022.