APA Statement: Psychiatrists Call for a Non-Violent Election

November 2, 2020

As psychiatrists we know that a most important way to defuse violence is for respected leaders on all sides of an issue to renounce violence and to call for non-violent peaceful ways to express dissent and resolve differences.

We know that with civic disruption, violence, intimidation and associated threats of authoritarian actions, our efforts to address the mounting crisis of climate change and associated disparities and injustices cannot proceed.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has released this statement:

APA Calls for Calm During the 2020 National Election;
Urges Leaders from Both Parties to Condemn Violence

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) acknowledges the raw emotions that are circulating as the nation approaches Election Day and, as psychiatrists, we are deeply concerned about the potential for violence in our communities regardless of who wins.

As leaders in mental health, we offer our guidance on how this nation can come together and heal after the election. The nation is under the stress of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of racial injustice and a contentious election. We urge our fellow citizens to remain calm and reject violence in favor of constructive dialogue both during the election and afterward.

We also call upon leaders from both parties to condemn the use of violence and unrest resulting from the election and we urge them to speak out before violence erupts. We know as psychiatrists that one of the most important ways to defuse a desire for violence is for respected leaders to call for non-violent ways to resolve differences and grievances. The nation has a long tradition of peaceful elections and transitions. We call all to rise to this great standard.


An ad-hoc group of Psychiatrists from the Climate Psychiatry Alliance have released this statement: Psychiatrists Call for a Non-Violent Election; Calling for Our Better Angels.