Position Statements

Statement on ICE’s Mandate that International Students Resume In-Person Classes or Face Deportation during Coronavirus Pandemic

Statement on ICE’s Mandate that International Students Resume In-Person Classes or Face Deportation during Coronavirus Pandemic

July 10, 2020

For art therapy students, this rule is particularly harsh. Few academic institutions offer art therapy programs, so students would be challenged to find an alternative program if the school they are currently enrolled in remains online in the fall. In addition, the art therapy profession itself is needed now more than ever as the mental health ramifications of the Coronavirus pandemic continue to grow—and our country faces a dire shortage of mental health care providers. Furthermore, the United States has long been a pioneer in the field of art therapy. Our art therapy programs educate and train over two thousand art therapists annually, many of whom go on to become mental health care providers and advocates in other countries. 

Statement by the American Art Therapy Association on the Death of George Floyd

Statement by the American Art Therapy Association on the Death of George Floyd

May 28, 2020

As mental health professionals, art therapists see the dreadful effects of racism in our communities every day. This week, our nation witnessed via bystander video the exceptionally horrific death of George Floyd. A police officer pinned Mr. Floyd down to the ground with his knee, applying his full body weight to his neck for four more minutes after he had stopped moving. Mr. Floyd’s last words were, “I can’t breathe.”

AATA Statement on the Developing Coronavirus Pandemic

AATA Statement on the Developing Coronavirus Pandemic

March 12. 2020

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) shares in the concerns we are facing as a nation and a global community regarding the dynamic developments of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We stand with our art therapy community and people around the world, keeping everyone’s health—physical and emotional—as our number one priority.

AATA Releases Letter Condemning the Government’s Unethical Practice of Using Confidential Therapy Notes against Detained Children in Court

AATA Releases Letter Condemning the Government’s Unethical Practice of Using Confidential Therapy Notes against Detained Children in Court

February 24, 2020

On February 24, 2020, AATA President Dr. Margaret Carlock-Russo sent a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) condemning the current practice of using notes from required therapy sessions against detained youth in court – a clear breach of patient confidentiality and abuse of power.

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.