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.

My friends and I 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.

– RMC

 

How to work with us

The Eco-Anxious Stories team is led by Story Strategist Rachel Malena-Chan, who provides workshops, story-coaching, and resource development. She also partners with a number of collaborators to tell climate stories provide a wide range of climate storytelling services.

Here are a few examples:

 

Creation

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. Partner with us to create eco-anxiety supports for your community. 

    Curation

    We curate and commission projects, artistic works, and writing about eco-anxiety and climate experiences. Pitch your idea today.

    Capacity-Building

    We lead workshops, host webinars, design training supports, hold space for public storytelling, evaluate projects through the lens of story, apply our framework to research and interventions, and offer climate story coaching and consulting. Book with Rachel for a workshop or a program-design project. 

    Building capacity for change through the lens of story

    Rachel Malena-Chan

    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.

    Rachel provides a range of storytelling, story strategy, research, knowledge translation, and communications services.

     

    Reach out if you’d like to explore a project collaboration.

    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!

    Thank you to  Molly Seaton-Fast, Beth Roth, and Wing Chan for all their help making Eco-Anxious Stories what it is today!