Dr. Wray is the Lead of the Chair’s Special Initiative on Climate and Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Stanford University School of Medicine. Before this she was a Human and Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Her research focuses on the mental health impacts of climate change on young people ('emerging adults') and frontline community members, psychosocial resilience building, community-minded healing interventions, and public engagement for improved mental wellbeing and planetary health. Dr. Wray has a PhD in Science Communication from the University of Copenhagen and is a journalist, speaker, and author of two books: Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in the Climate Crisis (Knopf 2022, and a finalist for the Governor General's Award), and Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction (Greystone Books 2017). She has hosted and produced several science radio programs, podcasts and television programs for international broadcasters including the BBC and CBC, and is a TED speaker. Dr Wray is an advisor to the Climate Mental Health Network (addressing the mental health consequences of climate change through community engagement and by harnessing the power of media and technology), Climate Cares (a mental health research collaboration between the Institute of Global Health Innovation and the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London), and the Good Energy Project (a nonprofit unlocking the power of TV and film to inspire courage in the face of climate change). Dr Wray is a Chicago Council on Global Affairs Next Generation Climate Changemaker. She is also the Creator of Gen Dread (gendread.substack.com), a newsletter about building courage and taking meaningful action on the far side of climate grief.
Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Honors & Awards
SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2016-2018)
Human and Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, Woods Institute for the Environment; LSHTM (2021-2023)
Finalist, Governor General's Award (2022)
SEED Grant, Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health (2022)
Winner for Best Editorial Research, Canadian Screen Awards (2023)
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Global Health Postdoctoral Affiliate, Stanford University (2022 - Present)
Member, Eco-anxiety and Climate Emotions Research Group (2021 - Present)
Member, MHPSS and Climate Crisis Working Group (2021 - Present)
Member, Social Climate Leadership Group (2021 - Present)
Advisor, Good Energy Project - Climate Storytelling Playbook (2021 - Present)
Advisor, Climate Mental Health Network (2021 - Present)
Advisor, Curie Society, MIT Press (2019 - 2021)
Advisor, Climate Cares, Imperial College London (2020 - Present)
BSc. (Hon), Queen's University, Biology (2008)
MA, OCAD University, Art, Media and Design (2012)
PhD, University of Copenhagen, Science Communication (2018)
A Call to Action for Gender Equity in Climate Leadership.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Climate action is not advancing quickly enough to prevent catastrophic harm. Understanding why might require looking at existing leadership structures and the inequitable gender representation therein. Critically examining dominant power structures could pave the way toward more comprehensive, innovative, and expedient environmental solutions-and we argue that elevating women's climate leadership is key to safeguarding planetary health. Women have historically been left out of climate science and governance leadership. Women are disproportionately impacted by the health effects of climate change, particularly in Indigenous and low- and middle-income settings. Therefore, our call for women's climate leadership is both an issue of justice and a matter of effectiveness, given evidence that inclusive leadership rooted in gender justice leads to more equitable outcomes. Here, we present evidence for why gender equity in climate leadership matters along with considerations for how to attain it across sectors and stakeholders.
View details for DOI 10.4269/ajtmh.22-0674
View details for PubMedID 37127272
Psychological and Emotional Responses to Climate Change among Young People Worldwide: Differences Associated with Gender, Age, and Country
2023; 15 (4)
View details for DOI 10.3390/su15043540
View details for Web of Science ID 000941416600001
Climate Change and Global Health: A Call to more Research and more Action.
There is increasing understanding, globally, that climate change and increased pollution will have a profound and mostly harmful effect on human health. This review brings together international experts to describe both the direct (such as heat waves) and indirect (such as vector-borne disease incidence) health impacts of climate change. These impacts vary depending on vulnerability (i.e., existing diseases) and the international, economic, political and environmental context. This unique review also expands on these issues to address a third category of potential longer-term impacts on global health: famine, population dislocation, and environmental justice and education. This scholarly resource explores these issues fully, linking them to global health in urban and rural settings in developed and developing countries. The review finishes with a practical discussion of action that health professionals around the world in our field can yet take.
View details for DOI 10.1111/all.15229
View details for PubMedID 35073410
Climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses to climate change: a global survey.
The Lancet. Planetary health
2021; 5 (12): e863-e873
Climate change has important implications for the health and futures of children and young people, yet they have little power to limit its harm, making them vulnerable to climate anxiety. This is the first large-scale investigation of climate anxiety in children and young people globally and its relationship with perceived government response.We surveyed 10 000 children and young people (aged 16-25 years) in ten countries (Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, India, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, the UK, and the USA; 1000 participants per country). Invitations to complete the survey were sent via the platform Kantar between May 18 and June 7, 2021. Data were collected on participants' thoughts and feelings about climate change, and government responses to climate change. Descriptive statistics were calculated for each aspect of climate anxiety, and Pearson's correlation analysis was done to evaluate whether climate-related distress, functioning, and negative beliefs about climate change were linked to thoughts and feelings about government response.Respondents across all countries were worried about climate change (59% were very or extremely worried and 84% were at least moderately worried). More than 50% reported each of the following emotions: sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty. More than 45% of respondents said their feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily life and functioning, and many reported a high number of negative thoughts about climate change (eg, 75% said that they think the future is frightening and 83% said that they think people have failed to take care of the planet). Respondents rated governmental responses to climate change negatively and reported greater feelings of betrayal than of reassurance. Climate anxiety and distress were correlated with perceived inadequate government response and associated feelings of betrayal.Climate anxiety and dissatisfaction with government responses are widespread in children and young people in countries across the world and impact their daily functioning. A perceived failure by governments to respond to the climate crisis is associated with increased distress. There is an urgent need for further research into the emotional impact of climate change on children and young people and for governments to validate their distress by taking urgent action on climate change.AVAAZ.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S2542-5196(21)00278-3
View details for PubMedID 34895496
Emotion, affect and participation
Routledge Handbook of Art, Science, and Technology Studies
View details for DOI 10.4324/9780429437069