Medical experts are sounding the alarm about the rise of "climate anxiety" in children and teens around the globe.
"We see that a lot of young people are saying, 'I think my life will be worse than my parents' lives,'" a psychology professor at Suffolk University in Boston told CBS News.
Data from a study published in The Lancet Planetary Health in December 2021 found that young people are extremely concerned about the state of the climate crisis.
"Climate anxiety and dissatisfaction with government responses are widespread in children and young people in countries across the world and impact their daily functioning," the report stated. "A perceived failure by governments to respond to the climate crisis is associated with increased distress."
A large number of young people in the study reported that they feel a sense of hopelessness and worry that the human race will go extinct. Most also agreed that governments are not doing enough to address the issue and even noted feeling betrayed by them.
"Children are now turning to legal action based on government failure to protect ecosystems, young citizens and their futures. Failure of governments to protect them from harm from climate change could be argued to be a failure of human rights and a failure of ethical responsibility to care, leading to moral injury," according to the journal.
The non-profit Child Mind Institute suggests that parents allow children to express their concerns and fear of climate change but to also encourage them to be brave. The organization also advises that parents helping them manage their feelings and adopting ways to change their own habits can help mitigate the worry.