Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


This study assessed mental health needs in Northern Haiti, with the socioeconomic and sociocultural factors which predispose to mental disorders. Following the Key Informants approach to needs assessment, two groups were chosen to participate in this study: 27 out of 60 physicians and 30 out of 70 clergymen (n = 57), completed a questionnaire which asked specific questions on certain mental disorders they have either observed or dealt with among the population. The participants were also asked to give the frequency with which those disorders occurred among the population, and to rate the importance of factors contributing to those mental health needs. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the questionnaire data. The two respondents groups consistently reported the incidence and the prevalence of anxiety disorders and anxiety-based disorders, such as Hypertension and. Shortness of Breath. In addition, the clergymen reported the prevalence of depressive symptoms among the population. Other prevalent disorders reported included: Migraine Headaches, Sleep Disorders, and Paranoid Disorders. The t·110 groups also agreed on three basic mental health needs in Northern Haiti. They .include: 1) Need for mental health services; 2) Need Fer mental health education; and 3) Need for Clinical Psychologists and other mental health practitioners. The contributing factors to those disorders and needs among the population were listed as follows: Inadequate sanitation, beliefs in supernatural causes of illness, childhood malnutrition and chronic undernourishment, and illiteracy. Some general recommendations wen~ made with a view to reduce the incidence and to prevent the occurrence of some of those disorders. These recommendations included: inclusion of mental health in the overall public health programs; development of manpower through existing resources; and mental health education both for the public and for the service providers. The respondents were encouraged to participate more actively in the development 0f mental health programs and to prepare themselves through continuing education, to meet some of the psychological needs of those who seek their help.

Included in

Psychology Commons