Harsh U.S. immigration policies are causing mental, social harm to American children
Mental health affects all, regardless of gender, culture, and socio-economic status. Despite the universal nature, many are unable to get the care they need because of a shortage of providers and the stigma surrounding the diagnoses. May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to erase this stigma and educate the public of all ages on the warning signs of mental illness. This month is even more meaningful for immigrants from around the world as our nation’s increasingly harsh immigration policies have harmed the mental and social well-being of millions of American children.
Roughly one in four American children younger than 18 live in immigrant families, and over four million U.S.-citizen children have at least one undocumented parent. A sense of safety and belonging is key to their psychological development. Feeling secure is critical to them thriving emotionally, academically and socially. Conversely, evidence has shown that adverse childhood experiences, like intense uncertainty and fear, are detrimental to their health.