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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-100

The Physician's Role in Confronting Humanitarian Challenges: A Guide for Action

1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
2 The Access Clinic, School of Medicine, University of California, Riverside, California, USA
3 Dimitri Alphosus is a pseudonym for an author who wishes to remain anonymous for personal and professional reasons. Any correspondence should be routed through Dr P. McPherson
4 Senior Counsel and Director of Education, Government Accountability Project, Washington DC, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jaime Guzman
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, 1501 Kings Highway, Shreveport, Louisiana 71103
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_24_22

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An increase in humanitarian challenges has resulted in an increased demand for mental health resources. Social psychiatrists face a clinical and moral imperative to study and treat mental disorders precipitated or impacted by sociocultural events. Immigration detention is but one example of a setting that can take a toll on the mental health of those detained. Psychiatrists working in detention settings do not have immunity from feeling overwhelmed and may suffer the effects of moral distress. Many question how to take action beyond direct clinical care. Here we present a case study on physician action to address the humanitarian crisis of family separation and family detention of immigrants at the US. Southern border. Subject matter and advisory committee experts for the US Department of Homeland Security were recruited to identify concerns and provide recommendations in this guide for action.

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