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Available Expert - Children’s mental health at risk from forced separation of families at U.S. border

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Queen's University psychology professor Mark Sabbagh is available to comment on the potential toll the forced separation families currently occurring at the Mexico/United States border could have on the mental health of the children involved.

“The families showing up at the US border, parents and children alike, are under considerable stress as they flee intolerable circumstances in their home countries,” says Dr. Sabbagh. “The sudden family separation that is currently occurring at the US border is an unconscionably cruel act that only adds to parents and children’s distress.”

"For children, the forcible separation from parents can lead to emotional trauma with serious acute and long term consequences including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression,” he says. “The longer the separation is maintained, the more serious these consequences are for children’s long-term well-being.”

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