WASHINGTON, D.C., March 17, 2021 – Yesterday, eight people, including many women of Asian descent, were shot dead at spas in Georgia. During the COVID-19 pandemic, inflammatory language and violent acts have placed the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and businesses at risk. While authorities are still investigating the motive, it comes at a time when anti-Asian American racism has swelled in the United States. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) issued the following statements.
“This year has seen a significant increase in racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans, and it is unacceptable and harmful,” said APA President Jeffrey Geller, M.D., M.P.H. “This unspeakable tragedy can cause further fear for the AAPI community, which has endured so much already. We send our condolences to the victims’ families and friends, and others who knew them. We stand in solidarity with our members in condemning it.”
APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., noted that “the tragedy that occurred in Georgia is becoming far too familiar. We must be mindful that the mental health impacts of mass shootings are far reaching, touching families, communities, and the nation as a whole. If you are struggling to cope with these traumatic events, please reach out to family or friends for support. If you are overwhelmed, seek help from a psychiatrist, or your primary care provider.”
For APA’s resources on coping after disaster or trauma, visit: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/coping-after-disaster-trauma
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 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.