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Local Haitians Contemplate Country’s Future, Mental State

By ABC-7 Reporter Ken Molestina

El Paso, Texas – The mounting death toll from last week’s devastating earthquake is raising new questions about the mindset of many Haitians.

Some worry the quake may unearth an array of mental health problems.

There are also those who say the earthquake is providing the perfect opportunity to rebuild a new, better Haiti.

The destruction in Haiti can be best compared to pouring salt on an open wound.

Even before the quake, Haiti was considered a fourth-world country, where many people lived on less than a dollar a day. But in the midst of the destruction, some Haitians say a new spirit may be born, one that is necessary for the long term future of the island nation.

El Pasoan and Haiti native Coolidge Imperial said, “we need to be together, and start to rebuild , and maybe(now’s)the time.”

Imperial says the quake may have given the people of Haiti a reason to band together in a brotherhood that has been lacking on the island.

However, El Paso psychiatrist and Haitian native Jean Joseph Vanderpool said there are several stages that the survivors have to go through before they can even think about the re-building.

:Anger, resentment, then that’s when you’re gonna see the violence,” he said. “Right now, Haiti doesn’t have a police force.”

Vanderpool says he is planning a trip to Haiti soon with medical professionals to help with psychological counseling for the survivors.

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