Prevalence of Mental Ailments Among Asylum-seeking Children and Parents

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Almost all asylum-seeking children and parents who had been forced to separate at the US-Mexico border were subsequently diagnosed with PTSD, depressive and/or anxiety disorders, even after reunification, published in the journal PLOS.

Over 5,000 children were forcibly separated from their parents between 2017 and 2018 through its “Zero Tolerance” policy by the U.S. government.

‘Diagnosis of PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress disorder), depressive and/or anxiety disorders, was found to be prevalent among asylum-seeking children and parents (who had been forced to separate at the US-Mexico border) even after reunification.’

Since then, it has remained inconclusive as to how many of the children have reunited with their parents. At least 1,841 children are still separated from their parents as of August 1, 2021.

The study “The psychological effects of forced family separation on asylum-seeking children and parents at the US-Mexico border: A qualitative analysis of medico-legal documents” was conducted systematically by trained clinical experts.

Following was observed:

  • Parents and children shared similar pre-migration traumas and the event of forced family separation in the U.S.

  • They reported signs and symptoms of trauma following reunification.

  • Criteria for DSM diagnoses were met by almost all individuals despite reunification.

  • Evaluating clinicians consistently concluded that mental health treatment was indicated for both parents and children.

  • Signs of malingering were absent in all cases.

The data thereby may emphasize the need for psychological aid among these affected individuals for improving their mental health.

Source: Medindia

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