The Stigma of Mental Health in Haiti
This is episode number ten, and today we have the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Junior Brice, the Director of Mental Health at Partners in Health, a global non-profit organization focused on providing a preferential option for the poor in health care. In January 2022, in collaboration with capracare, Dr. Brice sent his staff to capracare Haiti to provide mental health training to capracare staff. In this episode, we discuss Haitian mental health related to the past 12 years of the ongoing crisis, earthquakes, hurricanes, illnesses such as cholera and covid 19, and civil unrest, among many other various efforts being done to support Haitians' mental health. He is an expert in global health, social marketing, norms, and social changes. He is an avid advocate for mental health stability, especially with those that are sick. His story is an eye-opener of the tremendous work being done in Haiti today. We are glad to call him our Partner and friend. Hope you enjoy our conversation, here we go!
More of the overview on Dr Junior Brice:
School of Medicine, State University of Haiti
University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
Grade obtained: Bachelor in Medicine (State University of Haiti)
Master in Public Health (University of The West Indies)
University of Washington: Global Mental Health, Economic Evaluation in Global health, Leadership
and Management in Health, Wellbeing for Health Professional:
Assistant manager program HIV/TB (Zanmi Lasante, 2013-2016)
Mental Health Clinical Coordinator (Zanmi Lasante,2020-2021)
Mental Health Director (2022 To date).
CEO young based community organization LAVI/AYITI (2016 To date)
Introduction by hostess Marielis Figueroa (0:00)
Tell us about Dr. Junior Brice. What would you like our community to know about you? (2:36)
Last year our world was shocked when we learned of Dr. Paul Farmer’s unexpected passing at 62. Partners in Health (PIH) is the global organization he helped found. Dr. Farmer worked on public health projects in many countries, developing strategies for dealing with tuberculosis, HIV, and Ebola and providing basic, affordable care. But Haiti was where he started. (9:05) What was that like for the staff when this news reached you all? How did you feel? How are folks recovering or dealing with this today? (10:05)
For those who were never fortunate to meet Dr. Paul Farmers. Can you describe how he was as a person and what working with him was like? (12:00)
I know many of our friends, partners, stakeholders, donors, supporters, and the greater capracare community are connected in various ways... Could you share with our audience what makes Partners In Health and capracare’s connection and partnership unique and special? And, Why is this partnership crucial for the people of southern Haiti? (15:09)
How do you see Partners In Health capracare can continue to build on this partnership to serve the people of southern Haiti? (17:38)
Dr. Brice, I understand your passion for helping others started at an early age. However, what precisely inspired you to get into the medical field to help people by becoming a Doctor in Haiti, explicitly focusing on mental health and HIV/AIDS? (19:39). *PSA/Ad for monthly donations(24:41)
What has been your experience providing mental health services in Haiti? (26:21)
Let’s talk about disaster responses. Since 2010, Haiti can’t seem to catch a break from these ongoing crises, from the 2010 earthquake to hurricanes to political instability to gang violence - how does your team gets mobilized to respond? (31:55)
(Taken from PIH.org) “The World Health Organization—before COVID-19—has estimated that untreated mental disorders account for 13 percent of the global burden of disease and that by 2030, depression alone will be the leading cause of disability around the world—outpacing heart disease, cancer, and HIV.” How did PIH start its mental health program in Haiti? (31:30)
As the director of Mental Health, Dr. Brice, what is PIH planning to do to build the capacity to provide more mental health services in Haiti? (34:02) (41:04...SIMILAR Q&A)
The people of Haiti are known for their resilience - for us; resilience means to build back better and stronger. From your expert view, how has Haiti built back better regarding mental health? Especially for all the people who are victims of these unfortunate ongoing events? (43:39)
Dr. Brice, since the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the most recent earthquake, has mental health become a priority in Haiti? (45:55)
Looking forward, how do you see Partners in Health continue to partner with capracare to continue providing mental health services to the Southern Region of Haiti? (48:24)
We have reached our final wrap-up question: At capracare, we believe in the power of words and their profound effect on our identity; for us, our word is courage. What is one word you would use to describe capracare and why? (51:44)
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Dr. Junior Brice