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Haitian Mental Health
Healing After Trauma
(English and Haitian Creole)
There are many different responses to crisis. Most survivors have intense feelings after a traumatic event but recover from the trauma; others have more difficulty recovering — especially those who have had previous traumatic experiences, who are faced with ongoing stress, or who lack support from friends and family — and will need additional help.
A traumatic event turns your world upside down. After surviving a disaster or act of violence, people may feel dazed or even numb. They may also feel sad, helpless, or anxious. In spite of the tragedy, some people just feel happy to be alive.
It is not unusual to have bad memories or dreams. You may avoid places or people that remind you of the disaster. You might have trouble sleeping, eating, or paying attention. Many people have short tempers and get angry easily. These are all normal reactions to stress.
It will take time before you start to feel better. You may have strong feelings right away. Or you may not notice a change until much later, after the crisis is over. Stress can change how you act with your friends and family. It will take time for you to feel better and for your life to return to normal. Give yourself time to heal.
These steps may help you feel better. A traumatic event disrupts your life. There is no simple fix to make things better right away. But there are actions that can help you, your family, and your community heal. Try to:
Sometimes the stress can be too much to handle alone. Ask for help if you:
If you or someone you know is having trouble dealing with the tragedy, ask for help. Talk to a counselor, your doctor, or community organization, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK).
Disclaimer: The information and resources listed throughout this website are provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a recommendation or endorsement of these materials by the Haitian Mental Health Network.