The Trauma Experienced By Separated Migrant Children was detailed by The US Government watchdog. Separating migrant children from their parents as part of the Trump administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy last year experienced “heightened feelings of anxiety and loss,” caregivers from United States government shelters disclosed this to the Health and Human Services inspector general.
Trauma Experienced By Separated Migrant Children
On Wednesday, a report released includes accounts of facility staff detailing the inconsolable crying of children when they were separated from their parents, the confused kids belief they had been abandoned by their parents. As a result of the policy and longer period spent in government custody, facility staff faced so many challenges in a bid to meet the mental health needs of children, many of whom had already experienced significant trauma before arriving in the US.
Every single kids separated from their parents has been terrified. A program director says in the report that, they are (seen as) the enemy, and also added that separated children couldn’t tell the difference between facility staff and immigration agents. According to report, there’s yet another Snapchat of how the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the US-Mexico border affected children. The policy, which ended last June, ended in the separation of thousands of families.
In an interview with program directors and mental health clinicians, separated children exhibited more fear, feelings of abandonment as well as post-traumatic stress than unseparated children. A report which reviewed the mental health needs of children in Health and Human Service (HHS) custody. In line with the report, “Almost all the children at the facility suffered a huge level of mental distress because they do not understanding the purpose of separating them from their parents”
“Most of the children who were separated from their parents expressed acute grief that caused them to cry inconsolably, those who believed they have been abandoned by their parents were confused and angry,” the facility staff explained the behavior of separated children in detail. A boy aged 7-8 who was separated form his father without any explanation as to why the separation occurred, a program director disclosed this to the inspector general. He also added that the child was under the delusion that his father had already been killed and he believed he will also be killed.
A medical director included in the report that the “psychological pain” also manifested into physical symptoms. “You get a lot of ‘my chest hurts; from the children even though everything is medically okay. Children describe symptoms of emotional paid , ‘Every heartbeat hurts,’ ‘I can’t feel my heart.”
Toll on children
How the policy was handled as well as the toll it took on children has been raised by immigrants advocacy groups, doctors and lawyers. In congressional testimony earlier this year, Dr. Julie Linton, who testified on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, opined that “family separation can cause irreparable harm on children as well as carry lifelong consequences for children.”
Democratic lawmakers have also slammed Trump administration officials over the policy, questioning them frequently in congressional hearings about whether the impact on the children was taken into consideration.
An agency within the Health and Human Services Department, that is the Office of the Refugee Resettlement is tasked with the care of unaccompanied migrant children, including addressing their mental health needs.
The mental health care of children in custody is particularly important as a result of the significant trauma most of them experience in their home countries or on their journey to the United States. In one case, which is detailed in the report, “a medical coordinator stated that a girl had been held in captivity for several months, during which time she was tortured, raped, and became pregnant.” In accordance with the report, other kids had witnessed the rape or the killing of of their loved ones.