Climate Psychiatry Alliance Steering Committee, 2-14-19


Carissa Caban-Aleman ( Carissa is a community psychiatrist from Miami, on the faculty at Florida International University, who is Puerto Rican.  She is a leader of CrearConSalud which is focused on activities in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria and the bungled federal recovery/response.  She and others in CrearConSalud work to support community resilience and to consult regarding mental health consequences in Puerto Rico.  She has received acknowledgement from the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health by being awarded the January, 2019, Champion of the Month.


Robin Cooper ( Robin is in private practice in San Francisco, also very active with the Citizens Climate Lobby.  She has a broad understanding of many of the mental health aspects, with particular knowledge of the impacts of excessive heat, including impacts on patients with significant psychiatric illness, especially those who are on various classes of psychiatric medications.  She coauthored the original Position Paper of APA on climate change and mental health.  She has been a key participant in our efforts to get the APA to divest from fossil fuels.  Her primary roles within CPA include internal administrative group management/coordination, Website oversight, Newsletter production.


James Fleming ( Jim is a psychiatrist in private practice in Missouri and serves on the APA Assembly (its main governance body).  He has been the primary mover of our proposal for the APA to divest from fossil fuels, a measure that stunningly passed with a 61% majority in early November. (He, Robin, Beth, Lise, and David can all address the divestment issue).  As an APA Assembly representative, he is active in advising and navigating the internal relationships within the American Psychiatric Association. Areas of particular interest and expertise are toxicant impacts on neuropsychiatric functioning.


Jack Gorman ( Jack is a psychiatrist in New York City, who has a long background in academic medicine and research. He is particularly expert in the issue of science denial, having co-authored with his daughter, Sara E. Gorman, a book, Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us. (OUP, 2017), which covers a wide range of denial of science.

He is most recently author of Neuroscience at the Intersection of Mind and Brain (OUP, 2018) which addresses the neurobiology and social psychology of fear, prejudice, and science denial. He is available to speak about the psychology of climate change denialism, ways to communicate the urgency of climate change effectively to the public, and the mental health consequences of climate change.


Elizabeth Haase ( Beth is a psychiatrist on the faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno and Medical Director of Outpatient Behavioral Health, Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, Carson City. She has broad knowledge about mental health impacts of climate change with particular expertise in psychiatric impacts of air pollution and eco-anxiety.  As co-leader (with Janet Lewis) of the Climate Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), she brings her commitment for rigorous scientific standards and research review to these efforts. She has been instrumental in efforts for APA to divest from fossil fuels.   She is an excellent speaker and has presented in many venues.  She has also been producing a film on the traits children will need to best adapt to climate change and is the director of a film company that works exclusively on green energy issues.


Janet Lewis ( Janet is a private practice psychiatrist in the Finger Lakes region of New York state, with practices in Penn Yan and Ithaca, NY, who also has a broad understanding of CC impacts on mental health and has particular expertise in describing and addressing eco-anxiety. She founded a group of Ithaca therapists that has been meeting continuously for three years to explore psychotherapeutic issues related to climate change.  She has an appointment at the University of Rochester. She is the co-leader, with Beth Haase, of the Climate Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. Within the CPA, she is Treasurer and assists with website editing.


Tony Ng ( is a community psychiatrist in Bangor, Maine, who is very experienced in disaster response. He serves as the chair of the Caucus on Mental Health and Climate Change for the American Psychiatric Association.


David Pollack ( David is a community/public psychiatrist who is Professor Emeritus for Public Policy at Oregon Health and Science University.  He has a broad understanding of many of the mental health impacts of climate disruption. He utilizes his experience in working within various professional organizations and government to help facilitate the agenda of the CPA, especially organizing scientific presentations, development of curricula, policy strategies, and writing for various professional and mainstream publications.


Anne Richardson ( Anne is a community psychiatrist in North Carolina who has a general understanding of CC mental health issues.  As a mother of several young children, Anne has a particular personal passion for the issue.  She has taken the lead in coordinating the presentation at APA meetings of the Overview of Mental Health Consequences of Climate Change.


Alexander Schrobenhauser-Clonan  ( Alex is a psychiatry resident at UCSF.  As a psychiatrist in training he brings a particular view of the issues related to younger physicians and has developed presentations on what young psychiatrists may need to know.  He is particularly interested in curriculum development and integration into all levels of physician training on climate change health impacts. He has been working with Beth Haase on improving the sustainability of mental health practices (i.e., how to reduce the carbon footprint in clinical settings).


Lise Van Susteren ( Lise is a general and forensic psychiatrist in Washington, DC. She has been involved with climate change issues for many years and her influence is widely recognized. Although her contributions and interests are broad, particular areas she has published within the scope of climate change impacts are the association between air pollution and neurodegenerative diseases and classic psychiatric illness, the emotional effects of climate change on children, and the evolving consideration of pre-traumatic stress on climate activists and scientists. Additionally she was an early writer on these topics and co-authored “The Psychological Effects of Climate Warming on the US-Why the Us Mental Health System is Not Prepared”(2/2012).

She is a popular speaker addressing the issue of climate change at national and international forums, including the Vatican conference on climate change. She brings her passionate voice calling for urgent action on climate change.  As such she is a frequent contributor on television, radio and in the print media. 

She serves as a Member of the Board of Physicians for Social Responsibility, of Earth Day Network, and has served on the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  Her forensic skills have been put to use as an expert evaluator of plaintiffs in the current Childrens’ Trust lawsuit.