The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has awarded a $30,000 grant to the Department of Counseling and Human Sciences of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies to investigate the possibility of training Haitians to provide post-traumatic stress counseling to the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Dr. David Lane, counseling program coordinator and associate professor of counseling, and Reid Doster, a CBF representative, will serve as the assessment team for the first trip, which will take place May 13-17. The two will spend time in Port Au Prince to assess the availability of facilities and resources needed to train Haitian citizens to serve as lay counselors for Haitians suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the earthquake that claimed the lives of thousands of Haitians. The team currently has a recruitment goal of 15 trainees.
“We see this as something that can be very meaningful for a group of hurting people,” Dr. Lane said.
When they return from the assessment trip, the counseling department will develop a proposal for a return trip designed to get students involved in the training of the lay counselors, Dr. Lane said. “If we can develop a model that works, we would like to eventually provide advanced training to Haitians,” he said. “Essentially, we would train trainers, who can teach fellow Haitians lay counseling.”
For the first trip, Dr. Lane and Doster will travel to Port Au Prince with a team led by Dr. Ha Van Vo, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, who also received he Cooperative Baptist Fellowship funding. Dr. Vo was previously awarded a $50,000 grant to design and fit low-cost prosthetics for earthquake victims and to lay the groundwork for a return trip later in the summer.