Health in Mind is an innovative volunteer program which provides educational and supportive services to adolescents and adults in the city of Port Au Prince, Haiti. The program works with English speaking Haitians to provide them with knowledge regarding crisis counseling, psychological and support services, and public health education. The hope is that this group of individuals who speak fluent English can relay these public health and psychological services to the rest of their country in Creole creating awareness of infectoius diseases and possible psychological and emotional instabilities that can occur.
Working in a thirdworld country, the effects of the innovation will be experienced immediately. Community leaders being trained to identify and assess the seriousness of the public or mental health crisis will allow collaborating agencies to be informed and intervene before lives are lost or the problem is spread.
Health in Mind is designed to promote and encourage leadership within the community. Adolescents and adults who show an interes in the field are provided with extensive training and appropriate knowledge regarding physical and mental health so they can become leaders of health within their community. The hope is that the more leaders that are created the fewer uninteded/intended deaths/incidences occur within the community.
Health in Mind will provide several phsycial and mental health seminars to the population interested in becoming health leaders. The first of many seminars is an extensive training of crisis counseling, psychological distress, and public health concerns. Following the first exensive and intensive training program are follow-up seminars where furture health leaders are encouraged to ask questions and receive refreshing information on the topics. Health counselors and licensed social workers will always be available through the internet to answer questions or concerns that cannot wait for the next set of trainings. Knowledge is intended to be sustained and reinfroced within the future health leaders community.
The hope is that other health educators and licensed social workers can join the team, travel to Haiti, and provide more extensive workshops to the interested group of adolescents and adults. Following a strong foundation in the Haitian community, we hope to expand and replicate the program in other countries and organizations who may be interested. If there are other countries or communities who show an interest in a health leadership program we would like for them to replicate this innovative idea and provide resources to their community.
Surveys regarding current psychological and physical health knowledge will be handed out to individuals interested receiving health education. Participants will be asked to complete the initial survey before receiving any education or information regarding psychological and physical health. The results are anonymous but will be scored to reflect how much information the participants understand. The participants will engage in an intensive psychological and public health seminar. Following the seminar, the participants will be asked to fill out the same survey. This will serve to understand how much the participants learned throughout the seminar, if their knowledge increased, and how their behaviors and attitudes will change. This information will be used to help understand if health education helps to decrease problem behaviors that may contribute to psychological distress or physical health outcomes. It is expected that by providing health education individuals will understand how to properly care for their health.