Newsletter Highlights

I Can’t Feel My Heart

In June, 1966, Jimmy Ruffin (brother of David Ruffin of the Temptations) recorded what would later become known as his greatest hit, “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?
There is now a medical term for this condition: known more formally as stress cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy.   According to the British Heart Foundation, it is a “temporary condition where your heart muscle becomes suddenly weakened or stunned. The left ventricle, one of the heart’s chambers, changes shape.” Unfortunately, many migrant children may know what this “brokenhearted” condition feels like firsthand.
The Associated Press and PBS Frontline have been conducting a joint investigation on the treatment of migrant children. Two recent articles demonstrate the horrific conditions which many of the migrant children have confronted and are continuing to confront.
One article details a recently released report from the inspector general’s office in the Department of Health and Human Services. It is the first substantial accounting by a government agency on how family separation under the Trump policy has affected the mental health of children. It was based on interviews with about 100 mental health clinicians. Investigators visited 45 facilities in ten states during August and September 2018. The AP reports many examples of trauma, epitomized by the clinicians who heard children describe physical symptoms related to the psychological trauma of separation. The clinicians heard children describing, “My chest hurts,” or every heartbeat hurts,” or I can’t feel my heart.”
Another article delves into the issue of child molestation. For example, the AP reviewed 38 legal claims for damages from parents who say their children were sexually, physically or emotionally abused while in federally funded foster care. “With more than 3,000 migrant children taken from their parents at the border in recent years, many lawsuits are expected, potentially totaling in the billions.”
While some of the facilities in which migrant children were housed have closed, the need for vigilance and activism to reunite families and keep the children safe is on-going.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.