Frogs, Climate Change and Mental Health: Hope and Action Preside!

Army of American Bull Frogs, Invasive except in Eastern United States.


The title of a New York Times magazine article published on October 21 is “Climate Change is Keeping Therapists Up at Night”.  

Traditionally therapists have worked individually with persons on their personal growth.

“Climate change, by contrast, [is] a species-wide problem, a profound and constant reminder of how deeply intertwined we all are in complex systems — atmospheric, biospheric, economic — that are much bigger than us. It sometimes felt like a direct challenge to old therapeutic paradigms — and perhaps a chance to replace them with something better.” —Andrew Bryant, CSW, in conversation with the author Brooke Jarvis, contributing author to the New York Times Magazine.

“Now there are community events where people are brainstorming ways to adapt to climate chaos — characterized by empowerment and energizing…[where] people would feel embraced instead of isolated … natural that the conversation would start moving away from the individual and toward collective experiences and ideas. There was no fully separate space, to be mended on its own. There was only a shared and broken world, and a community united in loving it.”  —Words from Rebecca Weston LCSW, paraphrased by Ms. Jarvis.

A handful of psychiatrists in Rochester I know have begun seriously considering the importance of climate change, how it impacts their patients, and what to do about it.

Both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association have task forces on the Interface Between Mental Health and Global Climate Change, both for self-care, to advance knowledge, and to share resources.  

Besides therapists in the mental health field, clergy of all faiths also have to deal with climate anxiety and depression among their parishioners.

Artists, municipal leaders, and environmentalists do as well.

We all do.

And so, with the hope of continuing to weave together our bioregional community, A Frog House is presenting our gala event, Climate Change and Mental Health. We do hope to see you there.

Upcoming Events

Gala Event on December 2, 2023

Logo for The Century Club, the longest-running women’s club in Rochester, NY.  

Join us for a night of compassion and awareness at the Century Club Mansion of Rochester. We are gathering to celebrate our strengths and use them to raise funds to support mental health initiatives in the face of climate change. Let’s make a difference! We will gather at the beautiful Century Club Mansion on 566 East Avenue, Rochester, NY.

Prepare for an evening filled with engaging conversations and inspiring entertainment by SAG members Cadden Jones (Marvelous Mrs. Maisel actress),

Cadden Jones, singer & SAG Actress. BFA in Acting from NYU’s Graduate Acting Program at Tisch School of the Arts. Cadden’s website Cadden singing

and her partner

Michael Schantz, MFA in Acting from NYU’s Graduate Acting Program at Tisch School of the Arts. He has worked steadily at America’s most reputable theaters, on Television, and in Independent Film. Michael Schantz’s IMBd

and Eastman School of Music Doctorate recipient Alex Lo.

Alex Lo, BA, MA, PhD, Eastman School of Music. Piano

We also will hear a few words from our Pittsford Town Supervisor, Bill Smith

Bill Smith, Pittsford Town Supervisor, a longtime advocate for environmental health and protecting open space.

And of course, a few words from me, Margot L. Fass, MD. Psychiatrist, climate activist and local educator.

Together, we can positively impact mental health and climate change. Every contribution counts! Come and be a part of this incredible gala. If you cannot be there, contribute a “scholarship” to someone this would mean so much to.  

It’s time to show our support and take action. See you there!

Tickets* can be purchased here:

If you buy a ticket and are unable to come, please designate that you want your funds to sponsor a scholarship to the event.  

If you need a ticket or know someone who does, please let us know so we can channel funds to you or a friend.

*Ticket sales will benefit A Frog House, (see section Where Your Money Goes) a 501(c)(3) in Pittsford, NY, and are tax-deductible when applicable. (Consult with your tax advisor for your specific tax situation.)  A Frog House will continue to create training opportunities that are otherwise unavailable to Rochester area residents, so they can learn how to help their friends, immediate family, and fellow community members.

“The only way to reverse the downward-spiraling path of natural destruction and human misery is to recognize that we are both the problem and the solution. To put it more clearly, as humans, we are ruining nature, but nature can heal us enough to help her.” –Margot L. Fass, MD, Psychiatrist and Founder of A Frog House, 501 (c)(3).

And if you are unable to join us for that or donate to a scholarship:

Remember Us on Giving Tuesday on November 28

This day ROCS! — “Resilience” rock painted on October 8 at A Frog House. Photo credit Lindsay Graham

As many of you know, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is called “Giving Tuesday”, a global day of generosity. Here in Rochester, we will be celebrating ROC the day, which is on November 28, from midnight to 11:59 PM.

ROC the day provides the opportunity for those in the greater Finger Lakes area to donate to a smorgasbord of local causes. By going to, you can help support over 500 non-profits, selecting donation amounts for multiple causes in one simple transaction.

While our frog friends will be hibernating come Giving Tuesday, we ask that you help keep A Frog House open, with either a one-time donation or a rolling monthly donation plan. We need your support to continue hosting events that inspire advocacy, collaboration, and education of our community on how to support our planet and one another through recognizing the importance of amphibians.

Special People

We are the people we’ve been waiting for”  [a song that I just heard, gives me chills and makes me cry. Worth listening to]. The quote, by T.D. Jakes ends “and no one else is coming.”

Here are the people I’ve been waiting for. Get involved yourself anywhere and any way you can. Or, come join A Frog House.

Barefoot Ecological Design

Climate Solutions Accelerators

Color Pittsford Green

Design School for Earth Regenerators

Friends of the Robert C. Corby Arboretum, Pittsford

PARA, Pachamama Alliance of Rochester Area

Pittsford Garden Club

Possible Rochester

RAICA, Rochester Area Interfaith Climate Action

Rochester Ecology Partners


Past Events

October 8 event: Frogs, Climate Change, Hope and Action

A Frog House on the very windy day of our event. Photo Credit Jonathan Cloud.

Our event on Sunday was definitely a F.R.O.G. event!  It rained off and on, so we were off and on in and out. Most of the people who registered did not come, while a bunch of people who did not register did arrive. I was so happily surprised!

This is really funny, because everyone looks so miserable! Photo Credit Lindsay Graham.

Poor Erik, Rey, Oliver, and Thompson!

Our most faithful froggy friends, leaders Kristen Thornton (not shown) and Steve Brauksieck (and Annika and Noah) of Cub Scout 206, were there.

Annika and Steve working on their nature journals together. Photo credit Lindsay Graham.

One of our swimmer friends from RIT, Leo Pozhenko (Russian descent), before he got his volunteer frog hat, and Josh the dog. Photo credit Lindsay Graham

Three new friends from RIT found us from the canal path the day before two came back, and two young women arrived because they had seen the poster on campus at the U of R.

Clockwise, top left to bottom right:  Ron Washington, Oliver Bien Aimee, Rey Sunglab, Thompson Marinho, Onimim Numbere, Carter Remy.  Photo credits, Bonnie Abrams, Jonathan Cloud, Lindsay Graham.

One of our values always has been diversity, and to serve others than ourselves. We are excited to have had 6 Black guests, including our presenter, Carter (Haiti) founder of The Next Generation and You. Carter might be bringing some of the youth he works with from the city for future events at A Frog House.  

Our volunteer, Onimim is from Africa, and we also had visits from Ron, Urban League Housing Director/Manager Home Store, as well as friends I haven’t seen for years, Oliver, trainer from the YMCA, and (not shown) Karen Ward Wilder from New Life Fellowship and her friend Debbie.  

Representation on our team from Brazil (Thompson) and the Philippines (Rey) is an ongoing pleasure.

Victoria and Katherine set up a sign at the bottom of our steps. Photo credit Jonathan Cloud.  

Many thanks to our many other volunteers and team members: ever-faithful Victoria Zelin and Jonathan Cloud of Possible Rochester, Katherine Denison, advisor and designer, Bonnie Abrams, event planner, Sandra Kingston, an enthusiastic though shivering volunteer, Kali Warr and her friend Dylan, and new volunteers Madeleine Ross and Erik Gospodarski.

Panoramic View, Photo Credit Lindsay Graham.

Carter led the group in 90 minutes of youth-oriented activities and discussion to promote healthy minds and well-being while connecting with the natural environment for relaxation and stress reduction, using simple materials anyone can find at home. Each activity was 5 to 7 minutes long, helping all to connect with the activities that “speak to them.”

Carter told his own story about his experience of nature, having grown up in Haiti under a “second sun”, and struggling to adjust to life in New England. When he began working with the Genesee Land Trust, he re-discovered his passion for the outdoors. He now shares his enthusiasm with youth in the area, by bringing nature to those who may not be able to easily access it.

Our first activity with Carter was a breathing exercise when he led us through a group meditation to be more present in the space. Next, all the participants were given nature journals, where we reflected on what nature meant to us, and which organism we would most like to be.

After that, Carter had us write a word or phrase that illustrated what nature meant to us on a piece of paper. We then took those pieces of paper around the yard and tied them to trees, so that they could decompose and help give life back to the garden.

For our final activity, Carter provided smooth stones and acrylic paints. He encouraged the group to paint either a scene of the outdoors or a phrase that empowered us.

Carter, Bonnie, and Oliver, working on their rocks together. Photo credit Lindsay Graham.

A big thanks to Carter for a great workshop! Getting to express ourselves through art and writing is another way to connect with nature outside.

October 15, Ecofest at Farmer’s Market

Who could this be with the environmentally-minded young lady?

Well, look!  If it isn’t our faithful friends Victoria Zelin and Jonathan Cloud, flanked by Froggy Rey and Thompson!

Your Input Requested

A Frog House is a center for local Advocacy, worldwide Collaboration, and ecological Education. We work on behalf of amphibians and the citizens of upstate New York, advocating for chemical-free properties, clean water, and healthy wetlands. Our projects include planting trees, restoring vital habitats, and building frog ponds.

Our events are time-consuming and expensive. It is hard for me to evaluate what kind of impact and value they have. I would love to hear from you, whether you donate or not, about why you love or don’t so much love coming to A Frog House.

Watch for our next blog, Part III, Frogs, Climate Change, Hope and Action, about helping oneself and others with mental health difficulties related to the environment. In preparation for our event on December 2, you can read this, and also find two articles, both with the same name, Part I and Part II, respectively about the adverse effects climate change has on our mental health, and the potential for immersion in nature to improve it.