IMC Building Mental Health Capacity in Haiti

Affiliated organizations: 
International Medical Corps
Contact person: 
Agron Ferati

Just 22 hours after the devastating January 2010 earthquake, International
Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team arrived in Port-au-Prince
and began treating patients and training local health care workers to
deliver first aid. As many earthquake-affected Haitians were also at high
risk of developing mental illness, both because of the quake itself and
the symptoms of prolonged recovery such as displacement and lack
of employment, International Medical Care also made mental health
services an early priority in the country.

To date, we have worked with 166 mental health patients at the General
Hospital in downtown Port-au-Prince and integrated mental health care
into primary health care at 8 mobile clinic sites throughout Haiti. In addition to training over 75 community health workers
in critical areas such as primary and maternal/child health care to increase local capacity, we also trained 26 medical staffers
on conducting psychiatric evaluations and performing mental status exams. We support the Mars Kline Psychiatric Hospital (the only psychiatric center in the capital) by providing supplies, food for patients, administrative guidance and training for staff members. We also trained institutional officers who now work with 67 children’s residential centers throughout the country to improve children’s well-being, safety, and development