Position Statements

AATA Statement on the Georgia Shootings and Rise in Anti-Asian Violence During the Coronavirus Pandemic

AATA Statement on the Georgia Shootings and Rise in Anti-Asian Violence During the Coronavirus Pandemic

March 18, 2021

Our nation was devastated by the March 16th shootings in the Atlanta area that left eight people dead. While we are still learning the details, we know that most of the victims were women of Asian descent. These horrific attacks are the latest examples of the rise in incidents of hateful rhetoric and violent crimes perpetrated against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic.

AATA Condemns Riot on the Capitol and Future Threats of Violence

AATA Condemns Riot on the Capitol and Future Threats of Violence

January 13, 2021

The insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6th was not only a flagrant assault to our democracy, but a very traumatic event for millions of Americans across the country. Even if we were not physically in the Capitol on that day, we share a sense of horror, helplessness, and grief simply from viewing the video footage.

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2020

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2020

September 10, 2020

As we recognize National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, we know that the added economic stress, social isolation, loss of loved ones and myriad hardships that accompany the pandemic are causing more people to consider suicide. Suicide prevention is more important now than ever.

Statement by the American Art Therapy Association on Law Enforcement Response to Mental Health Crises 

Statement by the American Art Therapy Association on Law Enforcement Response to Mental Health Crises 

September 8, 2020

The American Art Therapy Association urgently calls on lawmakers to invest in community mental health services and shift response to mental health and substance-abuse emergencies from law enforcement to trained mental health professionals. These professionals can mitigate deadly and harmful incidents and reduce the number of unnecessary jail and psychiatric hospital admissions of people experiencing mental health and substance abuse crises.

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.