“I’ve seen mental health declining rapidly, especially with people being denied asylum.”
| Mental health crisis grows in border camps filled with hopeless, depressed migrants
Texas Public Radio – Hundreds of red, blue and orange tents are scattered around the Gateway International Bridge that connects Brownsville, Texas, to Matamoros, Mexico, where more than 2,000 asylum seekers live.
Children with their families have endured heat, cold and inclement weather for months. Such conditions are grinding down migrants’ mental health.
Kelly Escobar is with Love Without Lines and has volunteered at the tent encampment, where she provided supplies and assistance to the migrants.
“I’ve seen mental health declining rapidly, especially with people being denied asylum,” she said.
Aid workers are worried about a growing mental health crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border as thousands of migrants are camped out in Mexican border towns, waiting for weeks and months for their day in U.S. immigration court under the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico policy.
More than 57,000 asylum seekers have been sent back to Mexico under the policy.
Escobar said she left her home in Ohio because she wanted to help the migrants.
“At first everybody was hopeful. They had dreams, hopes, and [they] thought there was a possibility of asylum,” she explained. “You just see it in people’s faces. You see the despair, the depression.”
That despair was on display for the world to see earlier this month when a Mexican asylum seeker killed himself on an international bridge about 60 miles away.
He had just been denied entry into the U.S., according to Mexican investigators.
Escobar said she wasn’t surprised when she heard the news. She’s not a trained mental health expert but makes herself available to asylum seekers if they want to talk about what’s going on in their lives.
She remembered a Mexican man whose wife tried to end her life. They fled violence in southern Mexico, and their asylum claims in the U.S. were denied … Read more.
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