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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- American Counseling Aassociation (ACA) Governing Affairs Resources
- ACA Code of Ethics
- Counselors for Social Justice Code of Ethics
- Multicultural Social Justice Counseling Competencies (MSJCC)
- National Organization for Human Services' Ethical Standards
- Southern Nevada Stress and Trauma Resources
- Coping with Stress (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
- American Psychological Association (APA) Abortion Policy Information
- APA Reproductive Rights Statement
- Counseling Today articles re: abortion
- Trevor Project (resources for clients, counselors, and community members)
- American School Counselor Association position statement re: working with LGBTQ+ youth
- American Counseling Association’s LGBTQIA+ resources
- Counseling Competencies for LGBTQIA People
- Counseling Competencies for Transgender Clients
- American School Counselor Association position statement re: Transgender/Gender-nonconforming Youth
- Human Rights Campaign
- How To Teach LGBTQ History
- Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
LGBTQIA+ Crisis Help
War in Ukraine
- Center for Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies: Understanding the Ukraine Conflict
- Counseling and mental health resources
- ACA’s statement on the conflict in Ukraine
- Black Lives Matter Meditations
- Critical Race Theory: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
- Coping with Overt Racism and the Day to Day Nuances of Racism Experiences with Dr. Rossina Zamora Liu
- Coping While Black: A Season of Traumatic News Takes a Psychological Toll by NPR's CODE SW!TCH
- A History of Injustice—Coping with Racial Trauma, recommendations for coping with racial trauma (Jefferson Health)
- Coping with Racial Trauma (University of Georgia Department of Psychology)
- Racial Trauma Is Real: The Impact of Police Shootings on African Americans by Erlanger A. Turner, PhD and Jasmine Richardson
- The Link Between Experiences of Racism and Stress and Anxiety for Black Americans: A Mindfulness and Acceptance-Based Coping Approach
- Proactively Coping with Racism: Getting Back to our Lives in the Aftermath of Racial Violence in the Media by Monnica T Williams, PhD and Ryan DeLapp MA
- 44 Mental Health Resources for Black People Trying to Survive in this Country by Zahra Barnes
- How to Cope with Trauma in a Time of Civil Unrest by Aderonke Oguntoye
- 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