Miriam Desgazon, M.S.W. ’20 to Present at 2020 Haitian Mental Health Summit

Miriam Desgazon, M.S.W ’20 will present at the 2020 Haitian Mental Health Summit on the topic of Psychosocial Capacity Building (PCB) and the importance of PCB skills for earthquake survivors and political disaster. This year's Haitian Mental Health Summit marks the 10th anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. 

On the inspiration behind her presentation Desgazon says, “The common phrase, ‘cancer doesn’t discriminate’ can be applied to mental and emotional health. Mental and emotional health affects people regardless of social status, race, gender, religion and sexuality. However, social workers recognize that some people are more vulnerable than others to mental illness due to genetic predisposition and social status. We also know that societies address issues of mental health differently based on their social and cultural beliefs." 

Psychosocial Capacity Building places an emphasis on deepening the capacity of local, affected people, using a culturally grounded approach, to strengthen their ability to socially and psychologically survive and thrive in the wake of disasters. (Miller & Pescaroli  2019, p. 81).

"I believe the PCB approach can be useful in recognizing the emotional suffering in Haiti and facilitating emotional and community healing.”
- Miriam Desgazon, M.S.W. ’20

The goal of the summit is to create a network of Haitian professionals who can work together to address the mental health needs of Haitians in Haiti and in the diaspora. The creation of this network would minimize the duplication and the “silo effect” among Haitian mental health professionals and other responding humanitarian groups and maximize the impact of culturally effective mental health interventions targeting the Haitian population in Haiti and the Diaspora.