Children first – A positional statement from ACAMH board

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The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) is deeply concerned about the escalating invasion in Ukraine. This and other ongoing conflicts around the World – Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Myanmar, and many others – continue to bring tragic consequences, upturning the lives of many millions of people, and challenging the basic human right to peace and security.

Global conflicts continue to put the lives of millions of children and their families in danger. Families are fleeing their homes. Children are being displaced or separated from their loved ones. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that the number of people forcibly displaced by war, persecution, general violence, or human-rights violations surpassed 84 million at mid-2021.

We join international humanitarian institutions in calling for an end to this suffering, and we wish to offer our support and sympathy to everyone affected by the devastating military action in Ukraine and other countries.

The devastating consequences of war and armed conflict on children and young people and the adversity which persists well into adulthood are well researched and documented. There is a huge body of literature in trauma research which ACAMH will make available.

As a leading multidisciplinary evidence-based membership body, ACAMH is well placed to support our colleagues in the form of access to, and provision of, evidence-based materials, starting with the launch of a series of free to access talks on trauma and support for children and young people experiencing it.

Delivering humanitarian aid in challenging environments is often the most efficient and helpful way to support those in need. Any individual looking to offer support is strongly advised to give to established, registered charities with experience such as The Disasters Emergency Committee, a coalition of 15 leading UK charities, which has launched its collective appeal to provide emergency aid and rapid relief to civilians suffering during the conflict, UNICEF, British-Ukrainian Aid (preferred partners of the Ukrainian Medical Association of the UK), or indeed any charity or fund of your choice.

Written on behalf of the Board of ACAMH.




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