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Neither Safety nor Health: How Title 42 Expulsions Harm Health and Violate Rights

Almost all the asylum seekers we interviewed reported poor mental health outcomes due to expulsion and family separation under the Title 42 order. Of the 28 asylum seekers interviewed, 26 participants were administered validated screening tools for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. Twenty-five participants screened positive for at least one mental health diagnosis; 25 screened positive for at least two mental health conditions; and 23 screened positive for all three mental health conditions (PTSD, depression, and anxiety). The long-term activation of the stress response system and the overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that come with it can disrupt almost all of your body’s processes.

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We feel that progress in the field has been limited in the previous decade. This Opinion article focuses on what may be wrong in research and practice, and what could help to address the problems. It is informed by our research projects, lectures, teaching at graduate and postgraduate levels, participation in academic review committees, roles as journal editors, and repeated updates of our books on improving healthcare practice [11, 12] in the previous 25  years.

The U.S. government continues to expel asylum seekers without giving them an opportunity to seek asylum and is exposing them to further violence in Mexico. According to our respondents, U.S. government officials also directly violated the rights of migrants during the expulsion process. The involvement of stakeholders (e.g., patients, providers, payers) in the design and conduct of interventions to improve healthcare practice has been emphasized to the extent that it is now seen as the ‘holy grail’ of improvement.

It’s about having meaningful relationships — even if it’s just with one or two people. For those stressors you can’t avoid, remind yourself that everyone has stress — there’s no reason to think it’s all on you. Stress isn’t always harmful, and we can even change our attitudes about stress. A journal is a good way to organize your thoughts, analyze your feelings, and make plans. And you don’t have to be a literary genius or write volumes to benefit. If you get some bad news, make a mistake, or just feel like you’re in a funk, don’t try to pretend you’re happy.

Interviewees reported that they did not have access to state protection from Mexican authorities. Several people reported that Mexican immigration officials had asked them if they wanted to apply for asylum in Mexico. However, because Mexican authorities had not provided protection from violence, interviewees did not believe that asylum in Mexico was a safe option.

In fact, several people reported that Mexican federal agents themselves robbed and extorted migrant amilies after they were expelled from the United States. Said one woman, “The Mexican military stopped me and asked for my ID. Under the Biden administration, families continue to be separated, as some family members are permitted to enter the United States, while others are expelled. Of those we interviewed, 11 people were forcibly separated from family members by border officials. A further eight people were separated from family members they traveled with who were not their biological children, but for whom they were the primary guardian, such as younger minor siblings or nieces and nephews.

The researchers also provided information and referrals for mental health services as needed. The administration has agreed to process 250 asylum seekers each day who are deemed vulnerable, as well as 35 families per day as a result of ongoing litigation.[30] Many immigration advocates, however, argue that this is not nearly enough. As of this writing, reports suggest that the administration will move to end the Title 42 order for families at the end of July 2021 – but would continue to ban the entry of single adults. Over the past decade, there’s been a growth spurt in our evolution of understanding the importance of language in the role of talking about mental health issues. You need 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week to help lower your cancer risk. Your heart rate can help you determine if the exercise you’re doing is moderate or vigorous.

Of the 26 participants who were administered validated screening tools, 25 (96 percent) screened positive for at least one mental health diagnosis; 25 (96 percent) screened positive for at least two disorders; and 23 (88 percent) screened positive for PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Of the 26 who were administered the survey, 23 people (88 percent) screened positive for PTSD related to the events leading to family separation, 25 (96 percent) screened positive for depression, and 24 (92 percent) screened positive for anxiety.

Sometimes, offering forgiveness or dropping a grudge is more about self-care than compassion for others. But remembering that you are not necessarily doing it for another person or other people may help you be more open to beginning the process. Trying to take control of your thoughts during these brief windows of time can offer benefits. Put it in your planner if you must, but try to make it a priority do it. You can get a fancy planner or app, but even a sticky note on your computer or piece of scrap paper in your pocket can do the job.

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