The mental health clinician’s role in advocacy for survivors of human trafficking: Treatment and management

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Human trafficking (HT) affects a large number of populations worldwide, including men, women, and children. The traffickers exploit the vulnerability of the victims, including their poor socioeconomic status, political instabilities in their countries, and existing mental illness. They use fraud and coercion to involve these victims in forced labor or commercial sex. The victims encounter significant physical, emotional, and sexual trauma resulting in posttraumatic stress disorder along with depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder. Standard treatment protocols to man age the victims of HT do not exist. Trauma-informed care is key, as it provides the victims a sense of empowerment and safety while preventing retraumatization and enhancing treatment adherence. Mental health clinicians can play a significant role in providing services to the victims of HT. They can take the lead role in the integrated care model, which collaborates services with other stakeholders. They can also help provide training to other health care providers in identifying the victim, providing trauma-centered care, and establishing continuity of services. [Psychiatr Ann. 2021;51(8):373-377.].

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