Many migrants uprooted from their homes in Central America and Mexico do so to escape the trauma of gang threats and violence, domestic abuse, or extreme poverty. Yet, their journeys bring the additional trauma of assault, threats and intimidation by local officials or cartels, and physical hardships and injury. As these people arrive at the US/Mexico border, they are again traumatized by extortion, kidnapping and physical violence. If they wait in Mexico, migrants face homelessness and a lack of work. If they cross the border in the desert, they may suffer the physical traumas of thirst, extreme heat or cold, and a possibility of injury or death.
Due to these realities, many medical and relief workers at the border are now learning to treat every migrant as a potential trauma victim.
The volunteers at the Centro de Recursos para Migrantes (CRM) in Agua Prieta, Sonora, often see migrants who have experienced trauma for one reason or another. Volunteers will give treatment or call the Red Cross for those with physical injuries. But responding to mental, emotional or spiritual trauma is more challenging. To meet the diverse needs of the migrants who come to the CRM, some volunteers will participate in the 8th edition of the ‘Diplomado en Primeros Auxilios Psicologicos para Personas Migrantes, Refugiadas y Desplazadas’ (Certificate in Psychological First Aid for Migrants, Refugees and Displaced Persons). This certificate course is an 18-week online course that addresses legal, economic, social, and psychological issues of migrating people and also offers essential psychosocial intervention tools.
- Pray for all people who are uprooted from their homes because of violence, abuse, or hunger.
- Ask for spiritual, emotional, and physical safety and comfort for migrants on their journey.
- Grieve with those who suffer.
- Give thanks for all the helpers along the border who are responding to migrants experiencing trauma.
- Pray for the continued dedication of the CRM volunteers as they work for 18 weeks to complete the Online Certificate in Psychological First Aid for Migrants, Refugees, and Displaced Persons.