Background: After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the large number of persons with major limb damage, amputations, shock, trauma, anxiety and depression placed a severe strain on mental health (MH) services. Purpose: This qualitative study describes the impact and acceptability of a Mental Health Training Program (MHTP) implemented in the north of Haiti after the earthquake. Methods: A total of 113 healthcare workers (HCWs) participated in a training program designed to build local MH care capacity. The training curriculum draws on literature related to MH and the impact of the Haiti earthquake. Two focus groups were conducted with 16 HCWs; discussions centred on the personal and professional impact and acceptability of the training program. Discussion: Results demonstrated that the MHTP changed the HCWs' perceptions about MH issues and provided them with the knowledge and skills to respond to growing community MH needs. Acceptability of the MHTP was related to the content covered, to the delivery mode of the content and to the cultural appropriateness of the program. Conclusions: Disasters of different types will continue to occur and to impact MH in communities around the world. MH training will allow nurses to quickly and effectively respond to disasters. A coordinated emergency plan that is subject to frequent review, rehearsal and evaluation is also essential.
- Mental Health
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