In July 2010, Kira Mauseth, Ph.D. '08 returned to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to continue helping survivors of the devastating January earthquake. I came along because I specialize in international and disaster psychology, and I have counseled disaster survivors in Uganda, Bosnia, Sri Lanka, and Burma, helping them work through trauma-related mental issues.
There are basic cognitive things we did to help them to get through… to help them have hope. I believe training locals is vital to providing this care. There are so many cultural nuances to learn in providing aid in other countries. It's important to be community-oriented and train indigenous volunteers.
It's easy to feel hopeless in Haiti. Americans are good at investing themselves but we need to help Haitians help themselves so they can sustain themselves.
— John Thoburn, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology