A mixed-methods assessment of the experiences of lay mental health workers in postearthquake Haiti

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2014 Mar;84(2):152-63. doi: 10.1037/h0099387.


A mixed-methodological study conducted in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake assessed experiences of 8 lay mental health workers (earthquake survivors themselves) implementing a psychosocial intervention for residents of camps for displaced people in Port-au-Prince. Quantitative results revealed decreased posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, consistently high compassion satisfaction, low burnout, moderate secondary trauma, and high levels of posttraumatic growth measured over 18 months. Qualitative accounts from lay mental health workers revealed enhanced sense of self-worth, purpose, social connection, and satisfaction associated with helping others. Results support the viability of utilizing local lay disaster survivors as implementers of psychosocial intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Disasters
  • Earthquakes
  • Empirical Research
  • Female
  • Haiti
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Survivors / psychology
  • Young Adult