ITRC Supports Black Lives Matter
The International Transformational Resilience Coalition (ITRC) is a network of mental health, human service, climate, education, disaster management, faith, and other organizations committed to establishing programs and policies worldwide that use a public health approach to strengthen the capacity of all adults and youth for mental wellness and resilience for all types of toxic stresses and traumas as they also engage in solutions to the climate emergency.
This is urgently needed because humanity is in the midst of a civilization-altering event. Even with aggressive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, the best science indicates that average global surface temperatures will still rise beyond 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 Celsius) above pre-industrial levels—possibly within the next 5 years–or if not soon thereafter. “Climate overshoot,” as it is often called, will unleash relentlessly harmful and likely irreversible impacts worldwide. Without a rapid dramatic reductions in emissions and regeneration of ecological systems and biodiversity worldwide, which are nowhere in sight, global temperatures are very likely to rise by 3.6 degrees F (2 C) or higher after that.
One consequence will be widespread cascading disruptions to the ecological, social, and economic systems people rely on for food, water, shelter, jobs, incomes, health care, safety, security, and other basic needs. People worldwide are already experiencing the impacts of rising temperatures. When temperatures overshoot the 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 Celsius) extreme danger threshold, no one on earth will be immune from the persistent overwhelming—or toxic—stresses generated by the relentless disruptions to essential systems.
Mixed in with these compounding adversities will be more frequent, extreme, and prolonged wind, rain, and snow storms, floods, droughts, heat waves, wildfires, storm surges, and other damaging weather events. These events can psychologically and emotionally traumatize up to 40% of the people who are directly impacted, as well as people who know someone who is impacted or watch the events from afar.
The combination of relentless toxic stresses and traumas is already, and will increasingly produce, a dramatic rise in mental health problems worldwide such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, complicated grief, increased suicidality, compassion fatigue, hopelessness, helplessness, and more. Personally and socially harming coping behaviors will also multiply such as alcohol and substance abuse and addiction, spousal and child abuse, crime, aggression, violence, and extremism. The combination of toxic stresses and traumas are also certain to aggravate existing and create new physical health problems such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and many other illnesses and diseases.
Unprecedented international efforts are urgently needed to slash emissions and regenerate ecological systems and biodiversity. The ITRC also believes, however, that nations worldwide must now place an equal emphasis on establishing policies and programs that assist all adults and youth to strengthen their capacity for mental wellness and transformational resilience for relentless adversities as they also engage in climate solutions. This requires the use of a public health approach in communities to build population-level mental wellness and resilience.
The ITRC offers workshops, webinars, and other educational opportunities for people worldwide to learn about the need and methods of instituting community-based initiatives that use a public health approach to strengthen population-level mental wellness and transformational resilience. We also run a Community of Practice that allows practitioners in many nations to learn from each other, problem solve, and expand the movement. In addition, we work at the national, state/provincial, and local levels to establish programs and policies to authorize, support, and fund these initiatives.
The ITRC is led by a national steering committee composed of individuals representing national, regional, and local mental health, social work, human services, climate, and other organizations. An advisory committee of composed of people with expertise in different fields assists the national steering committee.