Dr. Jocelyn McGee, Garland School of Social Work assistant professor, recently answered the call from Rev. Dr. Wismick Jean-Charles, Vicar General of Monfort Ministries for the World, to collaborate on a developing a telepsychology program and training in Haiti for the Center for Spirituality and Mental Health (CESSA) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Dr. McGee has traveled several summers to Haiti since 2014 to provide spirituality and mental health training for 300 CESSA counselors in person.
On May 20, Dr. McGee and Rev. Dr. Jean Charles provided the first of four telepsychology trainings to a subset of 20 CESSA counselors via Zoom. The first training had to do with the practical and ethical implications of telepsychology practice in a developing country during times of disaster. Other trainings will address specific empirically supported counseling techniques which are appropriate for telepsychology interventions and self-care or counselors.
CESSA was initially founded by Rev. Dr. Jean-Charles in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake that resulted in over 300,000 deaths. Rev. Dr. Jean-Charles also oversees four orphanages in Haiti that house more than 600 children and staff who has suffered from the destruction of earthquakes, hurricanes, personal loss, isolation from family, poverty, violence and now COVID-19. He expressed gratitude that Baylor University, particularly the Garland School of Social Work, would be supportive of and compassionate to his country by providing mental health education and emotional support during these difficult times.