Mental health

Culture and mental health in Haiti: a literature review


Publication details

Number of pages: 28
Publication date: 2010
Languages: English, French.
WHO reference number: WHO/ MSD/MER/10.1



This literature review is on Haitian mental health and mental health services. It was conducted immediately after the earthquake in January 2010. The review first describes historical, economic, sociological and anthropological factors essential to a basic understanding of Haiti and its people. This includes discussion of demography, family structure, Haitian economics and religion.

The review then focuses on mental health and mental health services. This includes factors such as basic epidemiology of mental illness, common beliefs about mental illness, explanatory models, idioms of distress, help-seeking behavior, configuration of mental health services and the relationship between religion and mental health.

This review is essential reading for mental health actors in Haiti.