Abstract Painting with "Be Yourself"
Jun. 6, 2022

We recognize and affirm our stance on social justice, advocacy, anti-racist education, and equality for all in our community and schools. As May represents Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month and Mental Health Awareness month, and as we enter June, Pride month, as a department that is committed to advocacy, we must speak against hate crimes and legislation that is dictated by white supremacy and those holding positions of power. White supremacy and violence continues to penetrate our mainstream politics, and legislative bills are advancing at every level of our nation that impact ALL of us. As a department, it is important to state exactly what we believe that aligns with the values of our professions. We affirm:

  1. Women have the right to reproductive freedom. This includes a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion. The debrief from the highest court is an assault on women’s rights. Women who are denied access to reproductive care are more likely to experience higher levels of anxiety, lower life satisfaction and lower self-esteem compared with those who are able to obtain abortions (American Psychological Association [APA], 2022).
  2. That our transgender siblings have the right to complete unrestricted gender-affirming care and that providing gender-affirming care is not “abusive,” but rather beneficial to their mental health and well-being.
  3. That targeting our transgender, non-binary, and other gender-expansive siblings through bigoted laws and regulations is an act of violence and a crime against humanity.
  4. That discussions of human sexuality in the schools are healthy and beneficial for all students regardless of their sexual identity. Legislation that prohibits such discussion (e.g., Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill, or the "Don't Say Gay Bill") is harmful to the LGBTQIA+ community.
  5. It is important to acknowledge our country’s racist history and how it impacts the present through avenues such as critical race theory (CRT). By banning CRT through targeted bills, we are denying the racist history and truth of our country and supporting a false narrative that CRT indoctrinates white children to believe that they are fundamentally racist. We have a responsibility to address how racism still impacts all of our lives today.
  6. That the May 2022 mass shooting in Buffalo was a targeted domestic terrorist attack and hate crime fueled by misinformation, racism, and antisemitic beliefs. Racist acts of violence are becoming all too common and collective action regarding stronger gun laws is a must. The effects of racial trauma are clear: higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress among persons of color, and racial trauma has been linked to post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, and other conditions (APA; 2022).
  7. That the aggressive attack on the Ukrainian people is fueled by colonialism principles and is an act of genocide. The Russian regime has violated international law and the psychological cost of war will be profound.

The above statements have broad impacts on the mental health of these communities and stand in opposition of our core professional values. As helping professionals, our values are grounded in supporting the well-being of all in the communities we serve and embracing diversity, as well as honoring a multicultural approach. It is our responsibility to continue having these important conversations and advocating for human rights. Below you will find useful resources that will support your practice working within the communities and schools you serve.

Resources
General
Abortion
LGBTQIA+
LGBTQIA+ Crisis Help
War in Ukraine
Race
Mobile Apps
OTHER RESOURCES
  • UCHealth First Call: 833-701-0448, available 24/7/365, free, confidential emotional support from a multi-disciplinary behavioral health care team.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for Spanish 1-888-628-9454 or Chat with LifeLine