Position Statements

A Message of Support and Call for Action in the Wake of Mass Shootings

A Message of Support and Call for Action in the Wake of Mass Shootings

August 8, 2019

Our hearts are broken for the communities of Dayton, Ohio, El Paso, Texas, and Gilroy, California, where shooters took the lives of 34 people and injured dozens more in the course of one week. In the United States, mass shootings are a public health crisis – enabled by easy-access to assault weapons and fueled by hate, racism, and bigotry.  To begin to address this epidemic, we must focus on evidence-based solutions to reform our gun laws and support the mental health needs of our communities.  We reject rhetoric from the President and others that incorrectly links mental illness with mass shootings and further stigmatizes those with mental health challenges.

Call To Action: Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

Call To Action: Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

July 10, 2019

One year ago, the AATA joined thousands of people and organizations across the country strongly condemning the Trump Administration’s systematically separating children from their caregivers. While Congress passed a border funding bill last week, which included health standards for both adults and children for “medical emergencies; nutrition, hygiene, and facilities; and personnel training,” many lawmakers and advocates believe that the protections aren’t strong enough.

AATA Sends Letter to Second Lady Reaffirming Inclusivity

AATA Sends Letter to Second Lady Reaffirming Inclusivity

February 6, 2019

We have heard and share concerns expressed by some of our members regarding the discriminatory admissions and hiring policies at the Immanuel Christian School, where Karen Pence has recently returned to work as an art teacher.

AATA Denounces Discriminatory School Policies

AATA Denounces Discriminatory School Policies

January 17, 2019

As the nation’s leading organization advancing art therapy and healing through art, the American Art Therapy Association is aware that Second Lady Karen Pence is returning to teaching art. While we support art education, we are very mindful that institutions still exist today that openly discriminate against LGBTQIA children, youth and families. The AATA would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our wholehearted embrace of the LGBTQIA community.

Message of Support during Government Shutdown

Message of Support during Government Shutdown

January 10, 2019 

In these divisive times, as the partial government shutdown approaches a record number of days, the AATA would like to share our support for those who are impacted. Our members who are furloughed government employees as well as their clients who rely on government agencies for assistance are both facing unprecedented challenges. Our thoughts are with all those feeling the effects of this shutdown.

The AATA Stands Firmly in Support of the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Communities in Response to the Administration’s Proposed Definition Change

The AATA Stands Firmly in Support of the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Communities in Response to the Administration’s Proposed Definition Change

October 25, 2018

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) firmly rejects a reported proposal by the Trump/Pence Administration to redefine sex in civil rights law to eliminate anti-discrimination protections for transgender people.  The new definition proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services in a memo reported by The New York Times on October 21, 2018, would redefine sex in Title IX of the Civil Rights Act as either male or female, based on a person’s sex organs at birth.  The claim that this definition would be “grounded in science” ignores findings of decades of scientific research widely accepted by the medical community.

The AATA and the ACA Issue Joint Response to the Attorney General’s Remarks on Mental Health in Higher Institutions

The AATA and the ACA Issue Joint Response to the Attorney General’s Remarks on Mental Health in Higher Institutions

August 2, 2018

On July 24th the Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed an audience of high schoolers at Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit and accused many higher institutions of “doing everything they can to create a generation of sanctimonious, sensitive, supercilious snowflakes.” In his remarks, he listed therapy dogs, art materials – specifically coloring books and playdough – and art activities, such as encouraging students to “draw about their feelings,” as examples.  Read the speech transcript here.

The American Art Therapy Association and the American Counseling Association (ACA) collaborated in writing a formal response, asserting that his “remarks were highly misguided and they further stigmatize young people who seek mental health services and ways to manage stress at a critical transitional time in their lives.”