Legacy Community Health Warns of Mental Health Impact of Family Separation on Children

Legacy Community Health today highlighted the potential behavioral health impacts of separating children from their asylum-seeking parents. Almost 2,000 children have been separated from their parents as of May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

“It’s hard to think of a more psychologically destructive situation for young children than separating them from their parents and placing them in shelters,” said Dr. Chad Lemaire, medical director for behavioral health at Legacy Community Health. “Such a practice puts these children at a higher risk for a lifetime of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD. As medical providers, we need to figure out how to mitigate the lasting effects on these kids – and soon.”

The Houston Chronicle reported that a shelter for immigrant children is being “considered” for Houston. An Austin-based organization that houses immigrant children confirmed to the Chronicle it had signed a lease on a warehouse downtown.

Late last week, a tent city housing migrant teenagers opened near El Paso.


(Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Reuters)