Online Program

Resilience from trauma: Examination of a gender-responsive trauma-informed mind-body program in Haiti

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Elizabeth Jackson, MPH, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Danielle Rousseau, PhD, LMHC, Metropolitan College, Boston University, Boston, MA
Sue Jones, yogaHOPE, Somerville, MA
Allison Rose, MHS, Independent Research Consultant, Rockville, MD
Background: A growing evidence-base supports the connection between trauma and disease. Research suggests that mindfulness practices, such as yoga and meditation, can lead to neurological and physiological changes that may counter the impact of trauma, and promote health and well-being. Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Amnesty International reports an epidemic of violence and trauma among women and girls living in tent cities. It is believed that these women would benefit from tools garnered through integrative mindfulness programming. Purpose: This study examines the implementation and effectiveness of a culturally-sensitive, gender-responsive, trauma-informed mind-body (TIMBo) program delivered to Haitian community leaders in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Based on a train-the-trainer model in which local leaders learn to facilitate programming, TIMBo offers an eight-module, accessible, research-based curriculum that includes mind-body practices and tools to support long-term trauma recovery. Methods: The research team conducted a formative study throughout the year-long TIMBo training of Haitian community leaders. Research staff conducted in-depth interviews using a standard protocol. Data were used to adapt the program for full implementation and evaluation in early 2013. Results: Participants reported increased access to and utilization of tools for coping with trauma recovery. Participants discussed utilizing tools with their children, as well as teaching tool utilization to other adults. Conclusions: TIMBo is a promising program that supports the mitigation of traumatic symptomology among female Haitian earthquake and abuse survivors. The program targets the need for a culturally-sensitive, gender-responsive and sustainable program to address the epidemic of violence and trauma facing Haitian women.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the program’s ability to give women in Haiti (and elsewhere) simple, effective and accessible tools to utilize as active coping strategies for self-regulation. Discuss the program’s ability to help women in Haiti (and elsewhere) to gain awareness of their bodies and their body sensations. Emotional traumatic memory becomes lodged in the body and is triggered in an endless feedback loop that becomes chronic and debilitating in many. Describe the program’s ability to help women in Haiti (and elsewhere) renegotiate their self-belief through awareness of their inner experience, and begin the process of transformation. Discuss the fundamentals of how stress and trauma affect the body and the mind, and how mindfulness practices work to reverse the potentially devastating effects of traumatic stress.

Keyword(s): Adult and Child Mental Health, Public Health Curriculum

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Co-Principal Investigator on this formative research since the beginning of the development and implementation of the program. Among my scientific interests has been the development and implementation of a range of public health programs and interventions, as well as conducting the monitoring and evaluation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.