NAMI Statement on Family Separations at BorderNAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, was created based on the foundation of family involvement and through our years of experience, we believe that strong family support is vital to a child’s long-term mental health.
The forced separation of families is highly stressful and can result in trauma—and these separations can profoundly impact children who do not yet have a mental health condition, as well as those who are experiencing symptoms, by ripping away vital family support. There is growing evidence that exposing young children to trauma is toxic to the development of their brains. Traumatic experiences can negatively impact development and mental health as children grow.
NAMI joins the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and others in urging an immediate end to the practice of separating families. The future well-being of vulnerable children is at stake. We believe it’s critical to children’s mental health to be with their families and caregivers.