APA Calls for Calm During the 2020 National Election; Urges Leaders from Both Parties to Condemn Violence

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 2, 2020 – The American Psychiatric Association (APA) acknowledges the raw emotions that are circulating as the nation approaches Election Day and, as psychiatrists, we are deeply concerned about the potential for violence in our communities regardless of who wins.

As leaders in mental health, we offer our guidance on how this nation can come together and heal after the election. The nation is under the stress of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of racial injustice and a contentious election. We urge our fellow citizens to remain calm and reject violence in favor of constructive dialogue both during the election and afterward.

We also call upon leaders from both parties to condemn the use of violence and unrest resulting from the election and we urge them to speak out before violence erupts. We know as psychiatrists that one of the most important ways to defuse a desire for violence is for respected leaders to call for non-violent ways to resolve differences and grievances. The nation has a long tradition of peaceful elections and transitions. We call all to rise to this great standard.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,800 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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