Reduced mental health stigma in Haitian communities, thanks to the pandemic, young people

One of Rebâti Santé Mentale’s Facebook mental health videos.

NEW YORK — For years, mental health stigma has persisted among Haitians, mirroring the trend within the broader black community. Then came the pandemic.

“Over the past year and a half, I’ve seen more people actually want to talk about mental health,” said Dr. MarieGuerda Nicolas, a professor at the University of Miami. “We address dealing with isolation, dealing with anxiety and depression, and dealing with grief when you lose family members.”

Nicolas, a member of the American Psychological Association, said she helped organize English and Creole Facebook Lives on mental health that drew hundreds of viewers. Many Haitian organizations have also created mental health webinars.

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