November 9, 2020

 

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) congratulates Joe Biden on winning the 2020 election as the next president of the United States, and Kamala Harris for becoming the first Black woman—the first woman—and the first Indian American elected to one of the two highest offices in the land. The historic significance of her election cannot be overstated.

Our country is experiencing record stress and trauma as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, ensuing economic uncertainty, and deep concerns about racial and social injustice. We urge the Biden Administration to address these issues with particular attention to mental, emotional, and physical health. The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated a mental health crisis, disrupting mental health care for many at a time when they need it most. Access to mental health services is vital to ensuring the health and wellbeing of all Americans.

We also ask the incoming administration to support funding for the arts and creative arts therapies throughout the federal government—as part of efforts to rebuild the economy as a result of the Coronavirus, to addressing the unique needs of military patients and veterans diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions like PTSD.

Elections can be a stressful, anxiety-filled time for people—and many may be experiencing grief or depression. As mental health professionals, we call on all Americans to come together, rejecting violence and focusing on healing. Especially this year, in the midst of a pandemic and racial trauma, we urge everyone to prioritize mental health. To this end, we are committed to working with President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris, as well as all the federal, state, and local elected leaders across the country, to support mental health policies for all, and to advocate for the clients and communities art therapists serve.

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