Monday, June 25, 2018

Psychiatrists Weigh in On the Separation of Families

American Psychiatric Association president Dr. Altha Stewart has issued the following statement on the separation of children from their families.

"As physician experts in mental health, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any policy that separates children from their parents at the United States border. Children depend on their parents for safety and support. Any forced separation is highly stressful for children and can cause lifelong trauma, as well as an increased risk of other mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The evidence is clear that this level of trauma also results in serious medical and health consequences for these children and their caregivers. Many families crossing the United States border are fleeing war and violence in their home countries and are already coping with the effects of stress and trauma. These children deserve our protection and should remain with their families as they seek asylum. The APA recommends an immediate halt to the policy of separating children from their parents."

We note that while the policy has been halted, for now, the administration continues to torture the separated children in many ways.  There is no effort to re-connect the children with their parents; the children are not receiving psychiatric care and the limitation on employees touching the children only increases their isolation and enhances their detachment.

Margaret Drew | Permalink


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