Psychiatrists Can Help Identify and Assist Individuals Who Have Experienced Trafficking
Health care professionals play an important role in identifying individuals who have experienced human trafficking and ensuring that they have access to the services they need. At the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Rachel Robitz, MD, and Mollie Gordon, MD, discussed the high likelihood of psychiatrists encountering an individual who is experiencing human trafficking.
"We know that trafficked individuals are seen within healthcare settings,” Robitz said, citing studies that estimate 67 to 88% of individuals who experienced trafficking were seen by health care providers during their trafficking situation. She emphasized that “this is a problem that is likely more prevalent than we know, and we know that psychiatrists are seeing and interacting with victims of human trafficking all the time."
Robitz shared resources health care professionals could use to learn more about human trafficking, including SOAR to Health and Wellness online training. SOAR Online is a comprehensive training resource that enables health care providers, public health professionals, social service providers, and behavioral health professionals to raise awareness, improve the identification and treatment of victims, and respond appropriately to individuals who have experienced human trafficking, as well as those at risk.
Robitz stressed the importance of health care professionals using resources like SOAR Online to increase their knowledge, apply it to their clinical practices, and develop protocols within their health systems.