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Living in an Immigrant Family in America: How Fear and Toxic Stress are Affecting Daily Life, Well-Being, & Health

August 21, 2018

by Ileen Henderson, National Director of Bright Spaces

As I learned during my short visit to McAllen, Texas, at the Humanitarian Respite Center, the trauma of our immigration crisis is seriously affecting the mental health and lifelong physical well-being of the children who have traveled through unknown and unimaginable traumatic situations to cross the border.  Many are then detained for extended periods under questionable conditions.

As you will learn in this article, many thousands more have also been affected by fear of family members’ deportation. The  insidious fear of family members being arrested as they  leave for work or take their children to school leave our youngest most vulnerable immigrants with the terror and constant dread of coming home to find an empty house where parents have been taken away.  This is affecting the long term health outcomes for the thousands of children living in the United States. Behavioral changes, such as problems sleeping and eating; physical changes, such as headaches and stomachaches; and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety,  are all affecting these  children.

Read more here about this important health and wellness concern.