The earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 left the country and its people devastated, with overwhelming losses, death, homelessness and increased violence and safety concerns. This study proposes an effective intervention model for facilitating humanitarian parole for survivors of the earthquake. A medico-legal team of psychiatrists and human rights and immigration evaluated traumatized individuals and families in Port-au-Prince in March 2010. With support from local NGOs, the legal team screened and prioritized the most severe cases, and the medical team assessed individuals with acute medical and psychiatric concerns. 124 cases were screened for humanitarian parole. Psychological, psychiatric and medical assessments were completed in 48 families (68 individuals) to identify orphans and vulnerable children, survivors of past violence who faced a risk of re-traumatization, and those at high-risk of psychological trauma. All cases needed shelter, clean water and food. Mental health impairment beyond loss and grief were identified in 89.7% of cases. Our findings suggest that a multi-disciplinary, community-based model is effective in identifying individuals and families that meet the conceptual criteria for Humanitarian Parole. The model is also effective in identifying the psychosocial and medical needs of survivors and assisting them in receiving essential health services.
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