There are nearly one in five adults in the United States living with a mental illness. A growing body of research suggests that climate change can worsen mental health and well being. We are taking a closer look at the hard numbers of how climate change is impacting our mental health in this week’s “Two Degree Difference”.

It’s not to any of our surprise that climate change has caused an uptick in the frequency of national disasters. Vermont tallied 18 federally declared natural disasters from 2007 to 2016. That’s almost twice as much as the preceding 10 years. Federally declared natural disasters are not just climbing in Vermont, but it’s a national crisis. Each and every natural disaster we have to deal with does not only cost us massive amounts of money, but it takes a big toll on our mental health.

Climate-related risks to mental health and well-being stem from extreme events such as hurricanes and from gradual long-term changes like sea-level rise. According to the American Public Health Association, up to 54 percent of adults and 45 percent of children suffer depression after a disaster.

Even if you are not feeling overwhelmed by the mental impacts of climate change, research suggests that just witnessing negative climate impacts on others can contribute to widespread climate anxiety with 70 percent of Americans feeling at least “somewhat worried” about global warming.