National Leaders Taking Action to Support Those Most At Risk
On February 3, 2017 the work of the Taskforce on Transition Stress convened to begin discussions around the rapid-fire changes occurring with the new administration. Change can be difficult enough, but because some of the initiatives threaten civil rights, employment, safety, morality, and residency, the stress felt by many Americans is profound.
In fact, the American Psychological Association’s report, Stress in America: Coping with Change, released on February 15, 2017, found that:
- Two-thirds of Americans say they are stressed about the future of our nation, including a majority of both Democrats and Republicans.
- The survey also showed an increased number of people reporting that acts of terrorism, police violence toward minorities and personal safety are adding to their stress levels.
- A third of Americans have reported specific symptoms such as headaches (34 percent), feeling overwhelmed (33 percent), feeling nervous or anxious (33 percent) or feeling depressed or sad (32 percent).
The Taskforce is focused on how transition stress – especially over what could be a longer period of time – could be affecting vulnerable people. For that reason, the Taskforce aims to raise awareness of how stress might impact the health and wellbeing of people in America, build protective factors to reduce stress and maintain stability, and to promote community connection and support during this profound time of change.
The Taskforce on Transition Stress has prioritized outreach and support to the following groups of people:
- Immigrants, with an emphasis on Mexican, Central American, and Muslim people.
- Children who are experiencing higher rates of intolerance, bullying, vandalism, and school violence.
- Teachers who, with already limited resources, have to address difficult questions, manage stress of kids in the classroom, and address negative shifts in school climate.
- LBTQ community that may be at risk of losing some of the protections from being discriminated against. (Leaked draft Religious Freedom Executive Order)
- Federal employees who have dedicated their careers to public service and are now at risk of losing employment due to a likely significant reduction in force.
- Women who may lose protections like the Violence Against Women Act.
- Military service members, who may be asked to serve in ways that conflict with personal ethics and beliefs.
- Trump supporters who are now, or might in the future, feel “buyer’s remorse” over their election decision.
To learn more about the Taskforce on Transition Stress or to interview Taskforce members about this important work, contact Helga Luest: 202-550-5678. See also The Trauma of Trump: Moral Injury and Self-Care.