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How mental illness affects victims of modern day slavery

May 18, 2018

Did you know? May is Mental Health Awareness Month? It’s no secret that millions of Americans and people around the world are affected by Mental Illness. According to NAMI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness), approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year.

Mental Health is a serious issue that often has a stigma. Many individuals believe you can change your thoughts, and you can be happy. While that may be possible for some, people with Mental Health issues often suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, chemical imbalances, emotional trauma and other mental health issues. Thinking happy thoughts is not as easy as it sounds for these individuals. For those who suffer from mental disorders, therapy, medication, and comprehensive treatment are needed.

Mental Health issues are prevalent in victims of modern-day sex slavery. They often develop mental and emotional disorders due to the psychological and physical abuse they endure on a daily basis. These issues can include:

  • Severe depression
  • Anxiety
  • Development of eating disorders
  • Drug & Alcohol
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Stockholm Syndrome

This is why it is extremely important for mental health professionals to be trained on how to handle victims of modern-day slavery. Most victims of modern-day slavery have a difficult time trusting anyone and disclosing any personal information about themselves. They are often unaware of the mental health services and treatments that are available to them. While different people respond to different treatments, mental health professional who treat modern-day slavery victims typically offer:

  • Narrative Express Therapy ( NET)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ( CBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation + Reprocessing ( EMDR)

Some alternative forms of treatment may include Emotional Freedom Technique ( EFT), Energy Healing, and Hypnosis. It’s important that survivors of modern-day slavery get the support and guidance they need to live a life outside of captivity. This support includes mental health treatment.

Mental health professionals play an important part in caring for victims of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. This is why it’s imperative for therapists, psychiatrists, and mental health experts to get the proper training on how to identify and properly treat victims of modern-day slavery. This will ensure they will get the proper care they need to thrive.