A Community Call to Action:
Standing up For Children and Families

The North American Drama Therapy Association upholds rigorous ethical standards of practice and is committed to social justice and human rights. According to our code, Drama Therapists support “communities struggling with transition, loss, social stigmatization, isolation, illness, conflict, and trauma” (www.nadta.org).

During the last two months, more than 2,300 undocumented children have been separated from their parents and detained. While the current administration has declared an end to their policy of separating children from their families at the border, families fleeing violence are still being criminalized and imprisoned for their attempts to survive. Raids against undocumented people continue, and children are still being detained, now with their families. There are no provisions for the currently 2,300 separated children to be reunited with their families. As mental health professionals, we are concerned about the physical, psychological and neurological impacts caused by this traumatic separation for both children and their caregivers. We also worry about the impact of xenophobic and anti-immigrant sentiment underlying these policies, feeling that they continue to spread messages of bigotry and exclusion against Spanish speaking people and other people seeking asylum by crossing the Mexican/US border. Furthermore, we recognize the adverse effect on mental health of unnecessarily separating children from their families in any nation in the world; we do not limit our humanitarian position to the borders in North America.

We encourage our NADTA community to get involved by giving their time and/or advocating for more tolerant immigration policies, while also addressing the larger systemic issues. Join us today, June 28th, and use any feelings of concern to strategize and find our collective power to fuel action.

Resources and Links to help members get involved:

https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together/search/

https://secure.phr.org/secure/family-separationsign-letter

https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/18/heres-list-organizations-are-mobilizing-help-separated-immigrantchild/

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-help-immigrant-kids-who-are-taken-from-their-parents-at-the-border9235833

Created by the NADTA Diversity Committee, The NADTA Board of Directors and Drama Therapists Dana Sayre and Julie Peters.

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