Ryan Reynolds has one issue top of mind when it comes to the upcoming Canadian election: climate change.
On Wednesday, the Canadian actor posted a Twitter photo of himself, wife Blake Lively, and their new baby girl surrounded by trees, and urged voters to think about the federal candidates’ climate change policies when it comes to their vote.
Based on the #Capilano hashtag, it’s likely the photo was taken on the North Shore in B.C.
The “Deadpool” star, who is from Vancouver but currently lives in Pound Ridge, New York, specifically targeted parents in his callout, noting that he “wants my daughters to experience the same natural playground I grew up in.”
While Reynolds, 42, didn’t publicly endorse a party or leader, he highlighted the “climate progress” made in the last four years. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are seeking a second term in government.
Climate change is affecting kids’ mental health
Reynolds is among many parents who fear the impact of climate change on future generations — not only on their physical well-being but also on their mental health.
In a HuffPost Canada story, parenting expert Alyson Schafer noted that, “More and more, our provocative efforts to arouse care and concern on environmental issues are creating a growing amount of fear and anxiety in our children and youth.”
Coined “eco-anxiety,” this new stressor is affecting children around the world. According to a U.K. survey, half of kids between the ages of seven and 11 worry about climate change.
A 2016 American Psychological Association report that detailed new research about the mental health effects climate change had on people noted that “exposure to climate- and weather-related natural disasters can result in mental health consequences such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.” The people who are at a higher risk for developing these mental health issues include children and pregnant and postpartum women.
How to help kids cope
There are ways to lessen the effects eco-anxiety has on children, notes Schafer. Limiting the time your kids spend watching or reading the news and discussing why it’s important to take a break from social media and the dire headlines is a good start, she says.
“Digital detoxing and solid family time helps children (and everyone) feel more rooted,” she notes.
Schafer also suggests helping your kids focus on things they can do that can make a positive impact on the environment, whether it’s reducing plastic waste, using less electricity, or cleaning up parks.
“Discuss what you and your family could be doing in your own efforts to address climate change and listen to what your children have to say on the matter,” Schafer says.
If you and your kids want to learn more about the federal parties’ platforms on climate change, read on here.
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