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Mental health stigma lessening in Haitian communities, thanks to pandemic, youth

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

NEW YORK – For years, stigma about mental health persisted among Haitians, reflecting the trend within the broader Black community. Then, came the pandemic.

“In the past year-and-a-half, I’ve seen that more people actually want to talk about mental health,” said Dr. MarieGuerda Nicolas, a professor at the University of Miami. “We’re addressing dealing with isolation, managing anxiety and depression and dealing with grief when you are losing family members.”

Nicolas, a member of the American Psychological Association, said she helped organize Facebook Lives in English and in Creole about mental health that drew hundreds of viewers. Numerous Haitian organizations similarly created webinars about mental health. 

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