Creating Opportunity After Crisis: Examining the Development of the Post-Earthquake Haitian Mental Health Care System

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The scope of this theoretical study is comprised of an extensive review and interpretation of published studies by governmental organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO); non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and individuals detailing the theories, concepts, and relationships that exist regarding the social and economic effects of the global burden of mental health disorders and the substantial treatment gap of mental health conditions in low-resourced settings such as Haiti. Humanitarian emergencies are presented as opportunities to build better mental health systems in low-income countries (LICs). Exploring Haiti’s trauma signature (TSIG) identified risk factors for post-disaster mental health consequences to include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) within the adult population. Three culturally relevant community-based mental health programs Soulaje Lespri Moun (SLM), Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante (PIH/ZL), and Pwogwam Sante ́ Mantal (PSM), and one hospital-centered program, Project Medishare Hospital, are highlighted to demonstrate the implementation of successful mental health care services in post-earthquake Haiti. This project is focused on confronting the barriers to mental health services in Haiti with the goal of developing a long-term sustainable mental health system.