Today is my birthday and it was the best birthday ever because we spent the day at a head start program. We arrived at the head start program at eight in the morning and met Ms. McGee. Ms. McGee is the principal/director of the head start and she gave us a lot of information on how the head start program works and some information on the children who go there. Our group was divided between three classrooms of four and five year olds. Spending time with these kids was the most fun I have had in a long time. We worked on puzzles, read stories, danced, and just talked. The kids didn't want us to leave and I don't think any of us wanted to leave either. All of the children we worked with were African-American and Ms. McGee told us the children would be interested in touching our hair because our hair is different from theirs. The first thing that happened to me when I approached a little girl is she went straight to my hair. It was interesting to see the childrens perspective of differences between skin color and hair type. I also continued to think how these children who are four and five are going to view New Orleans and what happened there. They were born after the storm and do not have a view of what New Orleans looked like before.
Just an update on how things are going so far. Yesterday we teamed up with camp restore and worked at a site in the lower 9th ward called the Village. The Village is a community center headed by an amazing man named Mack. When we first arrived on site we had a reflection group with more than 50 other volunteers and everyone had to say something about their experience thus far. The whole reflection was very powerful and a positive experience. The thing that stuck out for me was how devastated the area still is and how much hope people still have. Mack said that 75 percent of people in this area still aren't in their homes.
Applying to MSPP
A guest blog by 2nd year Clinical Psychology, PsyD student, Judi Pasino
What does a mental health professional “do” when she encounters significant poverty, medical need or trauma? The words that we rely on for our talking therapies are quite inadequate, maybe even inappropriate when faced with such suffering. What does a supervisor “offer” to those who are encountering these overwhelming situations and their accompanying emotions?
This week our Lucero second-year students are working in (and outside of) a neighborhood medical clinic. These “neighborhoods” exist in several sections of Guayaquil in response to an invitation of the government to rural and mountain people to move into the city. As president Gonzalez explained, the land is essentially free at first to those who settle there and create some kind of shelter. We saw several neighborhoods of bamboo shacks that are the first generation of such settlements with subsequent iterations becoming cinderblock dwellings of several small rooms on dirt streets without sewage. The neighborhood of Dr. Montero’s Sub-Centro de Salud Luchadores del Norte clinic is such a place. The people are poor with many families separated due to parents seeking work in other countries and children being raised by extended family or even friends.
Tagged Latino Mental Health