"Poto Mitan": Change Agents that Promote Well-Being in the Haitian Community


Hosts: William James College Center for Multicultural and Global Mental Health and the Haitian Mental Health Network

Poto MItan Platinum Sponsors- Transparent
Platinum Level Sponsors: Children's Services of Roxbury and Massachusetts Department of Mental Health

Poto Mitan Gold Sponsors- Transparent

Gold Level Sponsors: Rebati Sante Mentale and Codman Square Health Center

Poto Mitan Bronze Sponsors-Transparent
Bronze Level Sponsors: AwakeIntuMind, Haitian Community Partners Foundation, Priority Professional Care, and Perspectives Health Services

Conference Coordinator: Gemima St. Louis, PhD

In the Haitian community, the term “Poto Mitan” refers to individuals, agencies, and institutions that serve as pillars of the community. A “Poto Mitan” is vital to the livelihood, survival, and sustainability of the society at large. Too often, there is a tendency to focus on the economic, health, and psychosocial challenges that afflict the Haitian community with little, if any, attention paid to its numerous assets. While every community has complex needs that must be attended to, it is equally important to recognize and foster the internal resources that strengthen the community and enable it to thrive. The conference seeks to identify assets that exist within the Haitian community and to raise awareness of individuals and organizations that serve as “Poto Mitan” or agents of social change in promoting the health, mental health, and overall well-being of Haitians living in Haiti and in the Diaspora. A particular focus of the conference is on acknowledging multi-disciplinary collaborations that (a) address gaps in access to and utilization of mental health care; (b) decrease fragmentation in health and social services; and (c) provide comprehensive, integrated, and systems-level programs to improve community wellness.

Learning Objectives

1. Raise awareness of organizations that have a demonstrated track record in providing comprehensive, coordinated, systems-level services to Haitian individuals and families.
2. Identify community-based agencies that are tackling major health and social issues facing the Haitian community, and making a significant difference in the lives of Haitian immigrants—e.g., educational and vocational programs, social services providers, social justice and advocacy groups.
3. Acknowledge individuals and institutions that are committed to supporting the social-emotional development of Haitian children and adolescents.
4. Recognize community service entities whose primary mission is to improve the lives of their members—e.g., early childhood education centers, after-school programs, cultural organizations, elder services, women’s health centers, etc.
5. Promote cross-disciplinary collaborations as well as small and large-scale initiatives that are designed to address the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of the Haitian community.
6. Share knowledge and resources to create cross-disciplinary collaborations aimed at reducing fragmentation and duplication of services, and enhancing coordinated and integrated care.

The following are files available to download: 2018 Conference Program2018 Conference Abstracts, and Biographies of Invited & Keynote Speakers.

Program Code: HMH6
Credits: 6 CE Credits
Price: $130 with CE Credits, $65 no CE Credits
Networking lunch included! There will be an extended lunch period for the art exhibition. See the Art Exhibition tab to the left for additional details.


  • When

  • Saturday, May 5, 2018
    8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    Eastern Time

  • Where

  • William James College
    1 Wells Avenue
    Newton, Massachusetts 02459

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