6 Mental Health Stories for Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. To mark the occasion, we’re collecting all the stories and resources we’ve created on the subject of mental health. In Haiti, we collaborate primarily with our partners Zanmi Lasante and SOFA, supporting them as they provide quality mental health care to some Haiti’s most vulnerable people. We believe any effective global health strategy must include mental health care for all!
We worked with Zanmi Lasante to create social-media friendly images promoting awareness of trauma and resilience in Haitian Kreyol.
Noel Derenis, a 57-year-old widow in the rural community of Lahoye, Haiti, a quarter mile from the Dominican border, has major depression. Like many people with mental illness in Haiti, she suffered for years before being able to get the mental health care she needed.
When the earth shakes: how MCC is responding to the immediate needs and long-term psychological effects created by natural disasters in Haiti
In Haiti, there are several possible ways MCC might respond when disasters occur. Immediate distribution of material resources shortly after a disaster can help meet the basic needs of those who have lost homes or belongings, while long-term mental health projects help address the ongoing psychological aftereffects of disasters.
“We nearly died,” Joseph says. “I almost couldn’t carry her. We lost everything…thanks to God we are alive.” Joseph motions toward the charred concrete slab where her home once stood, “But my daughter did not completely make it out in her head. She lost something of herself in there. It’s been three weeks, and she still can’t sleep. She has nightmares every night; she can’t go to school; she can’t stop thinking about that fire. She’s lost her memory, can’t think well.”
When we think of disasters, such as Hurricane Matthew that battered Haiti in the fall of 2016, the images that often come to our minds are of flattened houses, destroyed infrastructure, fleeing families and hungry people. The suffering is clear and public.
What we don't see is the amount of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls that follows nearly every disaster because of the additional stress placed on families.