“Mental Health Crisis”: Responses to the Separation of Immigrant Families

“Separating families is a humanitarian and health crisis” –The Seattle Times

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Individuals and organizations (including from the fields of psychology, medicine, and public health) have all publicly expressed their concerns of the administration’s policies on the health (physical and mental) of the immigrant families impacted. These statements are powerful and deserve serious attention. #FamiliesBelongTogether

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Psychology:

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“Sudden and unexpected family separation, such as separating families at the border, can add to that stress, leading to emotional trauma in children. Research also suggests that the longer that parents and children are separated, the greater the reported symptoms of anxiety and depression are for children…

For children, traumatic events can lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health disorders that can cause long lasting effects…
As a tragic example of the current policy’s serious potential for harm, a Honduran man who was separated from his wife and 3-year-old son after he crossed the border into Texas recently took his own life while detained in a holding cell…”- APA’s President, Dr. Jessica Henderson Daniel, and CEO, Dr. Arthur Evans

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Medicine:

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“The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly opposes this policy of family separation, noting ‘separating children from their parents contradicts everything we stand for as pediatricians — protecting and promoting children’s health.’ Repeated traumas (also called toxic stress) have been strongly associated with increased risk for mental illness, developmental delay, and chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.” –Elizabeth Dawson-Hahn, M.D. on The Seattle Times Opinion column

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Public Health:

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“It is an abhorrent practice that violates both the human rights of the individuals directly involved and the values of the American people. The practice of separating families, including infant children from their mothers, rightly embarrasses America and its citizens in the eyes of the world.” -ASPPH

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If experts in psychology, public health, & medicine state that the administration’s current policies increase risk of developing PTSD, depression, developmental delay, & chronic health conditions (such as cancer), it may be time to change…

 

Article on Blasting News

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