Cap Haitien is Haiti's second largest city— with a population of two hundred thousand and Hospital Universitaire Justinien (HUJ) is Haiti's second largest hospital. HUJ is the sole hospital serving Cap Haitien and is the referral hospital for the entire Northern Department of Haiti, resulting in HUJ serving a population of 1 million people, and providing a full range of medical services. Although HUJ was not directly hit by the earthquake, the January 12 Haitian earthquake did not only impact individuals who reside in the epicenter of the disaster, but the effects have continued to be felt throughout the country as well.
The Au Cap Project is grounded in a community empowerment framework, and was established with the vision of strengthening and expanding the capacity of HUJ in the field of mental health, a priority area of need that has arisen as a result of the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. The specific aims or mission of the mental health program are to: (1) provide training and ongoing support for health care providers and other hospital staff at HUJ to have the ability to identify and screen for mental health difficulties, (2) prepare a selected group of trainees to become trainers in identifying, screening for, and offering support for mental health, and (3) to increase community awareness about mental health issues and the ways to seek services regarding these issues. At its core, the Au Cap seeks to provide the resources and support necessary to assist health care providers and other hospital staff, including social workers, public health workers, outreach workers, and their communities to cope more effectively after disasters.
All aspects of Au Cap have been designed in response to the specific needs expressed by the staff and administration of HUJ, as well as extensive input from Haitian-American faculty from the University of Miami who have a wide breadth of experiences in the provision of training and services in Haiti.
World Health Organization (WHO) Mental Health in Haiti: A Literature Review
IASC Guidance Note for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support
Connecting with Qualified Mental Health Professionals for Disaster Response
American Red Cross Emotional Self-Care after a Disaster (English & Kreyol)
Coping with Disasters and Trauma Information Resources