Why we tell climate stories
The climate crisis is scary, but none of us is in this story alone. Stories bring us together, and each of us has a role to play in shaping the chapters to come.
We believe in welcoming all our feelings to the table, including feelings like anxiety, fear, and hopelessness. These feelings are normal, but they are not the end of the story. We help people follow their feelings and dig deeper into the love and connection that drives lasting change.
Narrative is a powerful tool for validating complex eco-emotions, and storytelling can help us harness our feelings for a more equitable and just world.
Who we are
Eco-Anxious Stories is a creative collaborative space that aims to normalize eco-anxiety and build capacity for change through the lens of story. We embrace the overlap of mental health, climate change, and storytelling.
Our work is about creating engaging opportunities to explore our messy relationships to social and ecological justice issues – including the climate crisis. We share stories and ideas that help us process our experience of being alive at this moment, this time of uncertainty and possibility.
We started this project as a way to work through our own climate anxieties. These feelings seem too big to distill into a simple infographic or one-liner, and it’s helpful to have an open space to express ourselves and connect to a story – and a movement – that is bigger than ourselves.
How to work with us
The Eco-Anxious Stories team is led by Story Strategist Rachel Malena-Chan, who partners with a number of collaborators to provide a wide range of storytelling services.
We produce original content, create tools and learning materials, develop resources, create videos and podcasts, and manage projects related to mental health and climate change.
Meet the team
Creator & Story Strategist
Rachel (she/her) is the creator of Eco-Anxious Stories, bringing together her passion for storytelling and her commitment to social justice. As a professional Story Strategist, Rachel has a decade of experience using story to help others engage and communicate meaningfully. She provides consultation and content development services to a wide range of clients. From organizations and political leaders to small businesses and community groups, Rachel has supported people to identify their unique story and share it creatively.
Rachel has deep roots in the Canadian Prairies (Treaty 6 Territory and the Homelands of the Metis), where she earned an MSc in Population Health Science and has published research on climate storytelling to advance climate justice and community health. She focuses on meaning and the role of stories in shaping identity, solidarity, and systems. She developed Eco-Anxious Stories to combat her own sense of powerlessness and burnout toward the climate crisis, and she uses it as a space for creative collaboration around mental health and climate justice.
Today, she lives in Victoria, BC, on the unceded territories of Lekwungen-speaking Peoples. Rachel is lucky to spend all her days with her husband, Wing Go. Together they provide photography and communications services through Dwell House and partner with the design team at Arcana Creative.
Beth fell in love with print when she studied graphic design fresh out of high school and that love of paper and the tactile good has remained through the intervening years. Today, she is an independent illustrator, owner of Front Paper, and all-around helper at Eco-Anxious Stories. Beth supports our social media platforms, helps write our newsletter and blogs, and generally keeps things running smoothly.
Photo – Audio – Video
Wing Chan supports Eco-Anxious Stories by providing a wide range of tech skills to the team. He manages production for podcasts, video projects, and home-grown photo essays. He’s also partner to Eco-Anxious Stories Creator, Rachel Malena-Chan. Together, they run Dwell House, a small communications studio based in Victoria, BC.
Molly Seaton-Fast, Arcana Creative
Molly has been supporting the Eco-Anxious Stories for over a year now, beginning during the early days of pregnancy in an attempt to turn her anxiety into action. She is the Founder of Arcana Creative, a studio passionate about bringing great design solutions grounded in storytelling and strategy to non-profits and purpose-driven businesses across North America.
Jothsna Harris, Change Narrative
Jothsna Harris (she/her) is a co-facilitator of our workshops, and she is the founder of Change Narrative LLC. Jothsna has designed and implemented award-winning climate change programs rooted in community, centering personal stories and other values-based ways that resonate, coaching thousands of people to find compelling narratives. Jothsna has extensive public speaking experience for high-impact opportunities on climate justice storytelling.
The founding team
Thank you Kevin Gatley and Hey Nova
This project began in 2019 through the efforts of Rachel and her brother-in-law, Kevin Gatley. Together with Kirsten and Bryony from Hey Nova, they launched the first iteration of Eco-Anxious Stories through their own resources and time. The launch was just two weeks before the pandemic hit, and the sudden shift in priorities disrupted the original vision. Much has evolved since, but this project wouldn’t exist in the form it does today without their hard work!