CACAP Statement on Anti-Asian Racism and Islamophobia

Authored by the CACAP Advocacy Committee (Drs. J. Guzder, A. Gajaria, C. Wilkes, P. Anang and R. Rasasingham)

The nation is in mourning for the recent murderous attack on a Muslim-Canadian family in London, Ontario. This attack occurs in the context of increasing anti-Asian violence and rising Islamophobic incidents (1). Following so soon on the sad news from Kamloops of the discovery of the 215 residential school children in unmarked graves underlines the need for solidarity of intentional anti-racism efforts impacting Indigenous and minority members in our diverse society. The Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent psychiatry will advance and actively support national efforts against anti- Asian racism, broadly defined to include those from South Asian and Asian backgrounds, with many other concerned groups standing in solidarity with victims of racism across our country. 

As mental health practitioners and trainers, anti-racism efforts are an urgent public mental health priority. This work must be informed by an equity and human rights framework. As mental health providers, we have a responsibility to also act as advocates for vulnerable children and families in Canada. As such, we resolve to reflect upon and responsibly address healthcare disparities in collaboration with affected communities to counter the impacts of racism on racialized people and religious minorities. CACAP acknowledges the toxic impact of Islamophobia and Anti-Asian Racism on children and youth in Canadian society. 

We will continue to increase our efforts to counter the impact of structural violence and social determinants on mental wellbeing by furthering allyship, discourse and interventions to address racism against Indigenous communities and other marginalized Canadian populations.