Supported by a PFIRST (Problem-Focused Interdisciplinary Research-Scholarship Teams) grant from the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, this project traces genealogies of ideas about trauma in and outside of Haiti, studying clinical mental health traditions in Haiti, and addressing broader questions about the translatability of the category and discourses of trauma across cultures and periods. The project relates these larger questions to the concrete choices and debates for practitioners responding to mental health needs, as focused on trauma and its health impacts, in Haiti.
“Discourses of Trauma in Haiti” began with the administration of SPRINT-E PTSD questionnaires, along with qualitative interviews on participants’ earthquake experiences, in October of 2010 (pilot data), summer of 2011, and summer of 2012. The study explores the validity of PTSD diagnostic criteria in Haiti, as well as optimal treatment strategies in relation to the fit between diagnostic criteria, local cultural traditions, and the availability of mental health resources. This project has connected Duke faculty and students with mental health and anthropological experts in Haiti, the US, France, and the francophone Caribbean. A co-edited volume on discourses of trauma in Haiti, including student writing, is in the works between Haiti Lab co-directors and new Duke Global Health Assistant Prof. Brandon Kohrt.