Pathways to understand help-seeking behaviors among Haitians

Billie Schwartz, Darren Bernal, Lauren Smith, Guerda Nicolas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The earthquake in Haiti led to an outpouring of outreach from groups of the Haitian international community as well as to residents of the island. Thus, an understanding of the help-seeking behavior patterns of this group is necessary to make meaning of their receptivity of assistance in a time of need. This paper summarizes help-seeking behavior patterns of 150 Haitian immigrants residing in the US. The results indicate that, overall, this sample was more likely to go to their family for assistance, regardless of the nature of the problem. In contrast, they were least likely to go to professionals for help, even when in need of emotional assistance. Given the increased rate of Haitians living outside of Haiti and around the world, a more comprehensive understanding of their mental health needs, coping patterns, and barriers to seeking help from mental health professionals is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-243
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Counseling
  • Haitian mental health
  • Immigrant mental health
  • Minority mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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