The Mental Well-Being of Haitians is Forgotten!

Tiba - February 6 2011, 7:22 AM

It has brought to my attention that there are 10,000 or so organizations in Haiti operating unders many different "banners" like: humanitarian, missionary, volunteer, Non government organizations (NGO), etc. etc...

It is true that all of these organizations are trying their best to provide a piece of bread here and there to Haitians to keep them from going into starvation.

However, there is a big piece of the equation that none of these thousands of organizations don't seem to care about providing to the Haitian people and that is the "Psycho-therapeutic attention."

When taking about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, Manic, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Delusional and Schizophrenia disorders, etc. etc...

all that is a perfect fit description of the Haitian people.

Bipolar disorder, and acute psychotic episods and everything else on the above list is known in Haiti as "Crazy" (Moun-n fou).

Often times, when someone is in a acute psychotic state, they believe that the person is being possessed by the devil and more likely to be taken to a voodoo priest to take the devil out when in fact this person is in acute psychotic episod.

Just like we do here in the United States, these organizations must recruit trained psychiatrists, therapists, and social workers with experience to send them down to Haiti in order to provide therapy, treatment, and coping skills to those who are struggling with PTSD.

Giving a piece of bread alone will not really help all that much if the mental well-being is not being taking care of. PTSD is caused by sundden traumatic events in somebody's life, or a big tragic event that happens in a community or country.

The 9/11 has caused a great deal of PTSD to New Yorkers and to the rest of the country.

Compounding with decades of political turmoils, assassinations, rape, sexual and domestic violence, etc. etc...the earthquake of 1/12/10 has made PTSD even more prevelant in Haitian society.

And therefore, the Haitian people would need psychotherapy, psychosocial, and coping skills in order to help them live a productive life.

Note that I referred to "Trained Therapists, Psychiatrists, and Social Workers with experience."

I don't want anyone to believe just because they are college educated, or white, or just because they are Haitian with college degrees, or if they are foreigners who have been to Haiti a thousand time already, or they are still in Haiti working for some organizations, to think that qualifies them to provide this type of service.

I hope these organizations would understand that food and shelter are not the only things the people need in Haiti.

They also need help and care for their sanity well-being as well.

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Comments

Ablerooster says...

Tiba, we gotta stick with more immediate concerns! more »

Tiba says...

Ablerooster, Trust me when I say "Mental Well-being" is as important, if not even more important, than being given a... more »