Recently, there have been many news coverage stories about detaining migrants and separation of children from parents at U.S. borders. This is a controversial situation that led President Trump to order an end to separating illegal immigrants from their children when trying to cross the border from Mexico to America. While there is still no solution on how this order will pan out, it is bringing about new studies that show how detaining families and separating children from their parents can cause a greater risk for mental health issues. Let's take a closer look. If you need to speak with a therapist in Asheville, NC, please call Legacy Freedom.
The biggest risk for mental health threats has to do with reuniting kids and parents. Unfortunately, when kids are separated from their parents at the border, they aren't sure why it's happening. Most of them are unaware that this may happen. In addition, because they're typically under the age of 18, they're unable to comprehend why they're being separated.
According to nytimes.com, "The administration has no clear plan to reunite migrant families, which is sure to carry a psychological price for migrant parents and more than 2,300 children separated from them at the border in recent months. More than 400 are under age 12, and many are toddlers. But the alternative of keeping those families in camps, on military bases and in other facilities for long periods of time while they work their way through the legal and asylum systems will quite likely impose its own trauma, as it did for families of Japanese descent held by the United States in internment camps during World War II."
Children who are detained and separated from their parents feel like it's their fault that it happened. They also may believe that their parents didn't want them and that's why the separation occured.
It's important to understand that with the detention and separation issues that migrants are facing when crossing into our country, both parents and children can suffer from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders that will need to be addressed at some point.
Even when the families are reunited, they'll still have some level of PTSD, depression, and anxiety. They may fear that it might happen again, have nightmares about the separation, and continually worry about their safety and what's to come.
Also according to nytimes.com, "In a series of studies, social scientists at the University of Delaware and elsewhere have carefully tracked the experience of young children entering foster families by having new parents keep detailed diaries and closely monitor parent-child interaction using standardized checklists. Young children often avoid engaging a new caregiver — behavior that can, in turn, put off a new mother or father, creating more distance and doubt in the relationship. A similar dynamic can occur when parents are taken away and then suddenly reappear."
Again, President Trump and his administration are working to find the best solution for detaining families that have migrated from another country. They're also working to keep families together as opposed to separating them.
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