Suicide Prevention

If there is an immediate fear of death or injury, please call 911. Any suicidal thought is a risk. HealthWest's crisis line is (231)-722-HELP.  Please call:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

(800) 273-TALK (8255)

HealthWest crisis helpline:

231) 722-HELP (4357)

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Separating Families-A Statement From HealthWest

A STATEMENT FROM HEALTHWEST:

“A parent and family’s impact on a child is never greater than during the early years of life. The body of evidence surrounding childhood trauma and its negative impact on short and long term health and wellbeing is overwhelming. Perhaps you have seen our recent posts on Adverse Childhood Experiences, trauma informed care, resilience and more. As a health provider, as an organization in partnership with others who are working to reduce trauma and improve health outcomes in our community, and as fellow citizens we are compelled to speak on this issue of separating families.

We know through decades of research that childhood trauma, or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), have a profound impact on brain development, coping behaviors, and health and social outcomes later in life. Children who experience trauma are much more likely to experience behavioral health challenges, a myriad of physical health problems and diseases, suicide attempts, substance use concerns, employment problems, and premature death.

The American Academy of Pediatrics states: “Separating children from their parents contradicts everything we stand for as pediatricians – protecting and promoting children’s health. In fact, highly stressful experiences, like family separation, can cause irreparable harm, disrupting a child’s brain architecture and affecting his or her short- and long-term health. This type of prolonged exposure to serious stress – known as toxic stress – can carry lifelong consequences for children.”

We at HealthWest stand in agreement with the American Psychological Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and countless other health providers in condemning the separation of families. We urge our community to learn about and understand the lifelong impact of trauma and to stand against the separation of families.

The American Counseling Association offers resources related to the forced family separations and childhood and family trauma here: https://www.counseling.org/knowledge-cent…/family-separation.”