Mental Health and Climate Change: Implications & Equitable Solutions

October 13, 2023 | Dr. Katrina Peters and Dr. Carissa Cabán-Alemán


When examining the adverse impacts of climate change on health and existing inequities, the aspect of mental health is vital to discuss, as well as potential solutions to address these issues. In this webinar, Dr. Katrina Peters, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF and Region VI Trustee at the National Medical Association, will discuss the impacts of climate change as it relates to mental health such as: increases in violence, the effects of those on psychiatric medications, and the impacts to our most vulnerable populations. Dr. Carissa Cabán-Alemán, Founding Member of Climate Psychiatry Alliance & CrearConSalud, Inc. and Assistant Professor of Florida International University, will share her community work in climate change, social inequities, and the link to mental health, including her work in Puerto Rico.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Katrina Peters

As a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF, Katrina Peters, MD, MPH, has a subspecialty qualification in Forensic Psychiatry and is currently the Medical Director of the inpatient forensic psychiatry unit at SFGH. Prior to her current workplace, where she has been on the clinical faculty for over 20 years, Peters worked in Oakland as a psychiatric consultant at Advanced Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She brings this combined expertise to her current role as a member of the council at Alameda Contra Costa County Medical Association. Peters is the immediate past president of Sinkler Miller Medical Association, the oldest and largest medical association of primarily African-American physicians. She was elected as the Region VI Chair of the National Medical Association.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Carissa Cabán-Alemán

Carissa Cabán-Alemán is a community psychiatrist with years of clinical experience as medical director for behavioral health departments. She is also a faculty member of the College of Medicine of Florida International University since 2014. She was promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor and continues collaborating with FIU as Community-Based Faculty since she relocated from Florida to Puerto Rico in 2022. Some of her interests are cultural humility, social justice, structural competence, mindfulness, systems-based practice, and the impacts of climate change on mental health. She is one of the founding members of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance and CrearConSalud, Inc., a non-profit organization devoted to mental health education, awareness, and advocacy in Puerto Rico (PR). She was American Psychiatric Association (APA) Representative to the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health & board member of the American Association of Community Psychiatry (AACP). She enjoys respectfully connecting with nature’s more-than-human world, hiking, biking & horticulture. She moved back to PR in 2022 to be close to her family, focus on community work, climate health & justice projects, learn agroecology, and relocate to a farm.