Haitian Culture and Mental Health

Ghislene Meance, PsyD

In this workshop, mental health providers will gain insight into various aspects of the Haitian culture and the ways in which cultural identity impacts work with Haitian immigrant clients and their family members. The workshop will explore specific help-seeking behaviors prevalent in the Haitian community as well as behaviors and expectations of Haitian clients when in therapy. Participants will also learn ways to manage challenges and difficulties that may arise in therapy through the use of clinical vignettes.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of Haitian cultural identity (i.e., language, history, religion, etc.) and the ways in which Haitian immigrants in the U.S. honor and express their culture.
  • Describe the process of Haitian immigration, acculturation, assimilation, and integration, including specific stressors faced by Haitian immigrants such as inter-generational and familial expectations and conflicts.
  • Describe how mental health is viewed in Haitian culture and the ways in which that perception influences Haitians’ help seeking behaviors in the U.S., including traditional and alternative coping skills commonly employed by Haitian immigrants when facing mental health diagnoses (i.e. adjustment disorder, depression, psychosis).
  • Define the concept of Vodou Healing in Haiti and how Vodou Healing compares to Psychotherapy as a competing help seeking strategy in the Haitian community in the US.
  • Incorporate cultural factors and behaviors when designing culturally sensitive and effective treatment plans and interventions for Haitian immigrant clients.

Presenter Bio:
Dr. Meance is a licensed clinical psychologist and a native of Haiti. Dr. Meance graduated from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology with a concentration in cultural competency. She is the president of The Multicultural Counseling and Testing Center (MCTC) located in Union County, New Jersey. Dr. Meance treats clients of all cultures and is often called to travel abroad and provide culturally sensitive and competent therapeutic interventions as an independent consultant. She is also a journalist and a published author. Most recently, Dr. Meance contributed a chapter about Vodou Healing in the recently published book: Caribbean Healing Traditions: Implications for Health and Mental Health.

Location: Essex County, New Jersey

Date: April 24, 2015                         Time: 9:30am-3:45pm
Registration and coffee/tea will take place between 9:00-9:30a.m. The workshop will begin promptly at 9:30a.m. Lunch will be provided.

9:30-11:30am Basic facts about Haiti and description of Haitian culture
11:30-11:45am Morning break
11:45am-12:30pm Haitian immigrants and help-seeking behaviors
12:30-1:15pm Lunch break
1:15-2:30pm Haitian immigrants and help-seeking behaviors
2:30-2:45pm Afternoon break
2:45-3:45pm Clinical challenges with Haitians in treatment:
Case Presentation and Discussions

Target Audience: Mental health professionals working with Haitian immigrants and their families, including mental health administrators, clinicians, self-help center managers/facilitators, screeners, and case managers.

This course is appropriate for intermediate level participants.

CEUs: Social workers and counselors will receive 5 CEUs (3 Clinical, 2 Cultural Competence).

FAMILYConnections is approved as a provider for continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program (provider #1252) and by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Approved Continuing Education Provider program (provider #6604). Family Connections maintains responsibility for the program.This course is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards – ASWB NJ CE Course Approval Program Provider #34 Course #233 from 01/30/2015 to 01/30/2017. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval.

All participants must sign in and sign out and complete a course evaluation in order to receive CEUs. Partial credit will not be given to those arriving late or leaving early. Certificates will be awarded at the end of the session. 

Directions & Parking Information:
Please visit: http://www.conferencenj.com/directions.html.
Detailed directions and information will be sent to registrants in a confirmation email.

If you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Niki DeVonish, Training Coordinator, at 973-323-3454.

Registration: Priority registration will be open to staff of DMHAS-contracted mental health agencies and self-help centers until April 3, 2015. After April 3rd, public registrations will be accepted based on space availability for a $35 fee. Course fees include materials and lunch. Cancellations must be made by April 10, 2015. Refunds will be not be issued for registrations cancelled after April 10th.

To register, please click here.

Please note that in order to maximize the number of agencies benefiting from CultureConnections trainings, we will not accept more than 3 registrants per agency during the priority registration period. We ask each agency to coordinate registrations so that no more than 3 individuals register for any given training. If space permits, additional registrations from the same agency will be accepted after the DMHAS priority registration deadline on April 3rd. 

Grievances: Please contact Niki DeVonish, Training Coordinator, at 973-323-3454 with any grievances.

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