In May 2017, Disaster Shakti members of the Antioch Multicultural Center, Dr. Gargi Roysircar, Ashland Thompson (fourth yr. PsyD), and Sarajane Rodgers (third yr. PsyD) traveled to a primary care clinic in Blanchard, Haiti, run by Partners in Development, to provide mental health counseling, psychoeducation, and research. This was Disaster Shakti’s sixth visit to this clinic in Haiti. With the assistance of Creole translators, they offered individual and couples counseling with many of the patients referred to them by the medical clinic.
When needed, suicide risk evaluations were completed. Several group counseling sessions were held, including a women’s group, a men’s group, a young girls’ group, an adolescent girls’ group, and a boys’ group. The team provided psychoeducation on diabetes, hypertension, sickle cell disease, and stress, and held workshops on stress management and relaxation. In addition, they did research assessment with individuals diagnosed with sickle cell disease to study possible connections between psychological, neuropsychological, and medical symptoms in a sickle cell patient population. Dr. Susan Hawes accompanied the Disaster Shakti team and joined in with the activities. Ashland and Sarajane obtained 1 credit hour for 120 hours completed for a Special Proficiency Practicum in international disaster mental and behavioral healthcare.
Client Evaluation of our Mental Health Services
In order to evaluate effectiveness as counselors with Haitian patients, they constructed a satisfaction survey with their translators’ linguistic and cultural knowledge. Sixty-four satisfaction surveys were completed. Three questions were rated on a scale from 0 to 2 (0=not satisfied, 1=somewhat satisfied, and 2=yes satisfied). The average satisfaction scores were as follows: “My counselor understands me” mean= 1.92, “My counselor is helpful” mean= 1.94, and “I am satisfied by my counselor,” mean =1.94. We are pleased with our patients’ evaluation of our counseling services (individual, group, psychoeducation, and workshops).