The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s program in Haiti is one of the world’s largest, most effective programs for psychological trauma-relief and resiliency-building. Developed in response to the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, it is a model for working in the aftermath of natural disaster.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, a nation crippled by the effects of slavery, a brutal fight for independence, and authoritarian rule. These factors were exacerbated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake whose epicenter was only 15 miles away from the capital city, Port-au-Prince. The tremor took anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 lives and left 1.5 million more homeless. The physical tolls were great, but the scope of the community-wide psychological trauma was immense.
Health care is inadequate, and mental health care is rarely available. Over 140,000 Haitians – mainly women and children – still remain displaced in camps. More than 100,000 children are suffering from malnutrition. Orphanages are at capacity. Child labor is commonplace. Our mind-body medicine programs offer an inclusive, effective and universally applicable model to address these physical, psychological and social challenges.
With generous support from Don deLaski and the deLaski Family Foundation, CMBM has been helping Haitians build healthy, resilient communities since 2010. Under the leadership of Country Director Linda Delmont Métayer, MA, MPH, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) has brought our life-changing model of self-care and mutual support to more than 43,000 children and adults across Haiti. Some 10,000 thousand have participated in 10-week long Mind-Body Skills Groups.
This program has been delivered by 300 Haitian clinicians, educators, and community leaders, whom CMBM has trained in its groundbreaking model of psychological self-care and group support. These service providers have integrated the model into 120 organizations nationwide, including schools, hospitals, clinics, orphanages, churches, voodoo peristyles and community organizations. Participants have included many of the most vulnerable Haitians, including orphans, widowed mothers, child slaves, survivors of gender-based violence, and incarcerated children and adults.
The beauty of this work is that it allows people to rebuild from the inside and it gives them a sense of hope. It sounds so little, but it’s everything.
Regine Laroche, Port-au-Prince
Since Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti in October 2016, CMBM Haiti staff and trainees have provided emergency relief for over 8,000 children and adults, primarily in the Department of Nippes, where more than 80% of the houses had been destroyed and their inhabitants displaced.
After the loss of my house in Hurricane Matthew, I had lost hope in life. I thought I was going crazy. The CMBM team gave me hope. Thanks to them, I know I have a future.
Teacher, Department of Nippes
CMBM In Demand in Haiti
CMBM has received urgent requests from:
The Ministry of Health, to train all physicians, nurses, and other health professionals working in primary care The Haitian National Police and National Prison System, to train police officers, counselors, social workers, and corrections officers in the Haitian prison system Bishop Pierre-Andre Dumas, head of the Diocese of Anse-À-Veau and Miragoâne and of the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education, to extend our program throughout areas most affected by Hurricane Matthew Haiti’s largest centers for homeless and Restavek children Community-based programs that support survivors of gender-based violence
CMBM Haiti Country Director – Linda Delmont Metayer, MA, MPH has led CMBM Haiti since 2010. She is a clinical psychologist and professor at the Haiti State University, as well as at University of Notre Dame in Port-au-Prince. Ms. Metayer hosted a weekly radio broadcast on psychoeducation for Radio Soleil for 10 years
Thanks to the deLaski Family Foundation, CMBM has designed a nationwide program to train several thousand clinicians and educators to provide help and healing to hundreds of thousands of Haitians.
- Children and adults served: 20,000+
- Participants trained from Port-au-Prince, Delmas, Carrefour, Jacmel, Central Plateau and the South
- Clinicians, educators, religious and community leaders trained: 240
- Organizations currently participating in our program: 120
Funding for this program generously provided by:
Direct inquiries about our work in Haiti to Elizabeth Lazarre Kaplan ([email protected]).