Spirituality and mental health in humanitarian contexts: an exploration based on World Vision's Haiti earthquake response

Schafer, A. (2010). Spirituality and mental health in humanitarian contexts: an exploration based on World Vision's Haiti earthquake response. Intervention, 8(2), 121-130. Chicago

For the international nongovernemental organisation, World Vision International, the Haiti earthquake response revealed a significant gap in materials and interventions that combined spiritual needs with the mental health and psychosocial support needs of a¡ected communities. Despite growing scienti¢c evidence that spirituality can have bene¢cial e¡ects on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, there is little guidance and consensus about psycho-spiritual approaches in humanitarian contexts.This is especially pertinent for the emergency response in Haiti where religious practice and faith underpins local culture. This can lead to practical and ethical dilemmas. Churches, the clergy and peoples’ spirituality are an important area for humanitarian practice to explore, particularly within the mental health and psychosocial support domain.

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