Building Mental Health Capacity in Haiti through Collaborative Partnerships

Guerda Nicolas, PhD
Department of Educational and Psychological Studies; School of Education and Human Development, University of Miami, FL, USA

Gemima St. Louis, PhD
Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, MA, USA

Castagna Lacet, PhD
Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA, USA

Series: Mental Illnesses and Treatments
BISAC: MED105000



Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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The increasing focus on mental health across the globe calls for guidance on how mental disorders manifest across different cultures and suggests the best practice models for addressing these issues from a cultural context. Additionally, in countries with limited resources and increased susceptibility to natural disasters, the call is even more urgent. In addition to poverty and limited resources, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are most vulnerable to disasters, which make the need for culturally sensitive and sustainable mental health programs even greater.

This monograph provides a framework for how to address mental health issues internationally in collaboration with local partners to create sustainable programs. Specifically, this monograph provides didactic and practical examples using a mental health-training program that has been implemented in Haiti for the past 20 years. Successes and challenges, as well as lessons learned and recommendations for other practitioners and researchers, are provided.

This monograph is a guidebook focusing on how to implement mental health training programs internationally. The authors’ aim is to structure the book in a way that will use Haiti as an example of what scholars who are interested in global mental health can do to effectively implement a training program internationally. This monograph includes didactic as well as detailed practical examples with illustrations of the mental health training program in Haiti for the past two decades. The monograph highlights the guiding principles that we have used as a framework for the authors’ research. They are: (1) In-Country Partnership, (2) Enhancing Cultural Knowledge, (3) Building a Culturally Competent Team, (4) Creating a Culturally Relevant Curriculum, and (5) Building Capacity. The authors’ show the reader how to use the framework and approaches with any subject and country.

The intended audiences for the monograph are practitioners, academics, researchers, human service providers, program administrators, public health advocates, policymakers, community leaders, undergraduate and graduate students, non-profit and grassroots organizations, and state and international agencies with an interest in developing, implementing, and evaluating culturally-appropriate mental health training programs for use in international settings. Given the increased number of individuals immigrating to the United States and the diverse demographic make-up of the country, the information presented in this monograph can be useful nationally to individuals who are interested in learning about ways to make mental health programs more culturally appropriate to ethnically diverse clients. (Imprint: Novinka)


Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. The Mental Health Training Program Components

Chapter 3. Guiding Principles for the Haiti Mental Health Training Program

Chapter 4. Locals as Experts: Building Local Partnerships Internationally

Chapter 5. Building Capacity and Sustainability

Chapter 6. Evaluation of the Mental Health Program in Haiti

Chapter 7. Concluding: Implications for Global Mental Health Training Programs


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