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The Call for Abstracts is Now Closed.
2nd Annual Conference on Haitian Mental Health
Weathering the Storm Like Bamboo:
Rethinking the Concept of “Resilience” in the Haitian Community
May 3-4, 2013
Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
One Wells Avenue
As a nation, Haitians have often been compared to the bamboo tree, which has the distinct characteristic of weathering strong storms and winds seemingly unscathed. Since the disaster of January 12, 2010, the term “resilience” has frequently been associated with Haitians. Indeed, in the aftermath of the earthquake, there were countless media images of Haitians persevering and going about their daily lives and activities appearing unphased by the massive devastation and despair that surrounded them. Those reactions and behaviors were frequently cited to depict Haitians as a resilient nation; a people that seemed to be unaffected by the magnitude of the tragedy and able to “bounce back”—like the proverbial bamboo tree. To date, many questions remain as to the applicability of the westernized construct of resilience to the Haitian experience. In the literature, resilience is defined as “patterns of positive adaptation in the context of significant risk or adversity” (Masten & Powell, 2003). Yet, as robust as the research on resilience has been, further empirical investigations are needed to fully understand the contextual and cultural aspects of resilience vis-à-vis the Haitian community. For instance, how is resilience defined, conceptualized and measured among Haitians? What attributes of resilience are relevant to Haitians living in the homeland and the Diaspora? Is there a different, and perhaps more culturally appropriate, construct that can better capture the complexities of the lives of Haitians, their coping strengths and reactions to traumatic experiences both as individuals and as a cultural group?
This conference will bring together practitioners, researchers, educators, and policymakers to engage in a discourse on resilience among Haitians. Its primary aim is to provide an intellectually stimulating forum for conference attendees to engage in theoretical, research and practice-based inquiries on resilience among Haitians; share knowledge that will lead to a better understanding and conceptualization of resilience and its relevance to the Haitian context; and discuss clinical interventions that can respond to the complex mental health needs of the Haitian community. Contributors from Haiti, the United States, Canada and other nations are invited to submit proposals that address the following:
GUIDELINES FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSION:
Abstracts must be submitted electronically by completing the abstract template and emailing it to HMHnetwork@gmail.com no later than Friday, January 25, 2013.
Notes for Potential Presenters:
Venue: The conference will take place on Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, 2013, at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP). MSPP is located at One Wells Avenue, Newton, MA 02459.
Registration: Conference fee will include conference materials, coffees and lunches, as well as social and cultural events, as indicated in the conference program booklet.
Costs: Presenters will be responsible for the costs of their transportation, accommodation, and conference registration fees. If accepted, the primary presenter will be responsible for contacting all secondary presenters to sign the Acceptance Agreement Form.
Materials: HMH Network will provide an LCD projector, screen, computer, flip chart, markers, and microphone for all presentations.
For more information, please contact: Gemima St. Louis, Ph.D., President, Haitian Mental Health (HMH) Network at firstname.lastname@example.org.