December 18, 2023

The Mental Health Crisis Within the Migrant Crisis

Migrants who already struggle to talk about their trauma find a persistent shortage of mental health workers.

WBEZ Chicago reports on the mental health crisis underlying the ongoing migrant crisis in the United States, as exemplified by CommunityHealth’s record-breaking waitlist for mental health care according to Chief Executive Officer, Steph Willding, MPA.

With sacrifices forced, lives lost, and rights violated, asylum seekers have endured and continue to survive through life-threatening, unimaginable conditions.

And while migrants sleep on floors of police precincts, the lack of mental health care access does not silence the trauma of watching friends fall off of trains into rivers, having to sell one’s body for transport, separating from family at the border, or leaving the wounded behind in the treacherous Darien Gap.

“When we think about what the need for mental health services truly is (among migrants), I don’t think we even can begin to even fully understand the depth and scope of that because individuals are still in their trauma. Anyone who’s walked into a police precinct before 8 a.m. and seen how many bodies are sleeping on the floor would understand that.”

Even as they are finally in the United States awaiting permanent housing and employment opportunities, the new arrivals are still in survival mode.

Read about the harrowing journey of migrants, their unshakeable resilience, and the allies working tirelessly to welcome our new neighbors with integrity, respect, and dignity despite barriers to care.