The American Psychological Association featured Germán Cadenas, assistant professor of counseling psychology, in the article "After DACA victory, attention turns to mental health needs."
On June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Trump administration cannot immediately end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This decision was a win for DACA recipients, but due to the instability of the program, experts and psychologists, including Cadenas, recognized the unmet mental health needs among DACA recipients and the undocumented immigrant community.
Cadenas discussed critical consciousness, the ability to analyze and challenge systems of privilege and oppression, as a coping mechanism that protects against some of this distress.
“Getting involved in activism gives people an outlet to deal with all of these awful things, like family separations, police brutality, and incarceration,” said Cadenas.
To improve access to mental health resources, Cadenas collaborated on a new training guide that includes recommendations for providers and resources to become informed about DACA, immigration policy, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on undocumented immigrants.
The full article can be read on the American Psychological Association website.