Application of a needs-driven, competencies-based mental health training program to a post-disaster situation: The Grenada experience

Stan Kutcher, MD, FRCPC, Sonia Chehil, MD, FRCPC


This report outlines an innovative approach to address post-natural disaster mental health needs in a region in which natural disasters are common—the Caribbean. Instead of traditional external vertical psychosocial interventions commonly used in this region, the authors developed and implemented a mental health interventions training program, in the island country of Grenada, which is focused on enhancing the capacity of local community-based health service providers to provide immediate and continued mental healthcare following a natural disaster. Soon after this training, a hurricane stuck the island of Grenada. A review of the self-confidence in the application of this training and the mental health intervention activities of these community health providers demonstrated that they felt able to effectively identify, intervene, and address post-disaster mental health needs within their communities and that their care of individuals affected continued beyond the immediate post-disaster period, suggesting that enhancing the capacity of local community-based health providers to deal with postnatural disaster mental health needs may be a useful model that may be applicable in other jurisdictions.


mental health, post-disaster, training

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