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Immigration

Highlighting the importance of mental health care for unaccompanied immigrant children

APA submitted testimony for a House committee hearing on unaccompanied minors expressing the importance of their mental health care and explaining their unique challenges that make them vulnerable to mental health concerns.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2021, June 9). Highlighting the importance of mental health care for unaccompanied immigrant children. http://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/mental-health-unaccompanied-immigrant-children

APA submitted written testimony to the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing (PDF, 197KB) titled “A Humane Response: Prioritizing the Well-Being of Unaccompanied Children.” The testimony explained how the unique challenges these children face lead to high levels of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It also highlighted the importance of mental health care for immigrant children.

APA has been working to provide specialized training to its members and will continue to pursue collaborative efforts with the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and community-based providers. In the testimony, APA also asked for Congress’ support to improve accessibility to mental health services for immigrant children and their families.

Finally, the testimony cited APA’s 2019 policy statement of the governing Council of Representatives in which APA expressed its support for practical and humane immigration policies that consider the well-being of immigrants and their families, including physical and mental health services.

The APA advocacy office will continue to work with Congress to advocate for mental health care for immigrant children and their families.

For more information, contact Serena Dávila.