Sara trembled, her eyes closed. Her small, 18-year-old figure was there in the passenger seat of my car, but her mind was locked behind a closed door. She grabbed her head. A vein in her forehead was swelling; it was as if her thoughts were exploding.
I was there in response to a desperate call. She said she was alone and afraid. Deeply afraid. She said she needed someone to talk to. It was 10 at night; I drove across town and picked her up.
This girl is from far away, El Salvador, but her story is familiar to many here. Sara (not her real name) is the face of hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have come to the United States from Central America. She left behind a childhood of abuse, bringing along the wounds of trauma. Once she arrived in this country, the mental-health services she needed were not always readily available. Read More.