As an organization that advocates for the emotional needs of all people and holds close our commitment to social justice, the American Counseling Association (ACA) condemns the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict — including the violent attack on Israel that took place on October 7, 2023 — and the violence, displacement, deprivation and loss of life that pre-dated and has ensued since October 7. We acknowledge the collective trauma of the Israeli and Palestinian communities following decades of conflict and condemn the rise of anti-Jewish and anti-Arab rhetoric due to this current war.
Unfortunately, we live in a time with no shortage of violent conflict — both large and small scale — at home and abroad. The mental health effects are profound for those living in areas under the constant threat of violence. But the effects also ripple to those with direct connections to a region in conflict and even those who witness and absorb war-related death and destruction from a distance via the news and social media. ACA has curated trauma-informed resources to assist counselors who are part of or who serve conflict-affected populations.
We believe that mental health is a human right and that citizens of this region deserve to live in an environment free of fear and violence. ACA appeals to leaders on both sides of this war to take immediate steps to end the violence and work toward sustainable peace and collective healing.