Statement on 2016 Election Result – A Reflection and Reminder
By Division on Practice
December 21, 2016
DoP, News

For many of us, the day of the election was filled with triumph and hope for a better tomorrow. When that tomorrow came, however, many felt a wide range of indescribable emotions: terror, fear, heartbreak, mistrust, anger, sadness, grief, and pain. No doubt, there will be more difficult and challenging days ahead with an outpouring of emotions and reaction, from both our own lives and the lives of others. As we move towards Inauguration day, the Division on Practice (DoP) stands as an unwavering source of connection and support for our community.

While we support the right to express and demonstrate on all sides of an issue, we do not condone racism, sexism, discrimination, oppression, or intimidation in any form. We stand with the many marginalized and vulnerable segments of our society, including people of color, women, immigrants, Muslims, and LGBTQ+ identified individuals, as well as their friends and families. In working with patients who hold these identities, we are seeing an alarming resurgence of trauma symptoms that harken back to past experiences of racism, sexism, violence, and other acts of oppression. We stand in solidarity with those whose psychological well-being has been harmed by the hateful rhetoric and acts during and after the elections. For individuals who disagree with our fundamental beliefs, we recognize the economic and psychological pain that may have led to your disagreements. We will continue to listen and empathize with your suffering in order to bridge the gulfs that have been exacerbated by political discourse. We want to encourage civic conversations that comfort and leverage our diverse ways and embrace inclusiveness despite the inevitable differences.

We are privileged to live in a country where democracy is honored and practiced, and where our opinions matter, even when our choices are dystonic with the end results. Let us remember that the United States of America is not made of one election or one person. Let us remind ourselves that there are policies to change, legislatures to create, justice to defend, the disempowered to empower, and people to welcome. As mental health professionals, practitioners, and researchers, we are equipped to combat these challenges. We will strengthen what we do by providing an even stronger voice for all and continuing to stand against the spread of hate.

The road to justice is overwhelming, evocative, and arduous. Please take care of yourself as we continue this work. Below are some possible resources to help taking care of yourself and others.

  1. If You’re Overwhelmed By The Election, Here’s What You Can Do Now by the Huffington Post
  2. A report on Children’s Exposure to Violence
  3. Talking to Children About Racial Bias
  4.  How to Support Your Child’s Resilience in a Time of Crisis