Photo: Rebecca E. Rollins/Partners In Health
A Focus on Mental Health
Following the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, demand for mental health services spiked as millions coped with catastrophic loss. More broadly, the World Health Organization estimates that by 2030, depression alone will be the leading cause of disability around the world. With partners like you to thank, PIH clinicians have provided more than 3,500 patients in Haiti with the mental health services they need. And around the world, we’re working to deliver this high-quality care to the poor, vulnerable people who often need it most.
One person who has benefited from this work is Paul. When he was 20 years old, he began hearing voices—and soon, he came to believe demons were persecuting him. Eventually, Mainardi’s family took him to the PIH-supported hospital in Lascahobas, Haiti, where he began psychotherapy and received medication for psychosis. He soon realized his problems were medical—and received the health care that helped him to manage his symptoms and secure a happy, healthy life.
Paul was so moved by his experience that he wanted to share it with others and prevent the harm that can come from not receiving quality care. So he started a radio station in his home. He transmits messages over the airwaves about mental disorders as a treatable condition, and urges people to seek care from the mental health team at Partners In Health.
“In life, anything is possible,” he begins in one radio spot, in which he describes the range of clinical mental health services available in the community—community health workers, nurses, social workers, psychologists, generalist physicians, and, if needed, a psychiatrist.