I have just started creating a cultural competency training on Vietnam for the mental health agency where I am currently employed. I am very excited for the training, which I should be able to offer in September. Here’s the overview…
Vietnam: a Country, Not a War: Reframing What You Know About Vietnam and Vietnamese People
Imagine you’re sitting in a circle on a cool tile floor with your family, sharing a meal. A chicken comes running into the house and your child runs out after it, chasing back into the rainy July afternoon. The rain has released some of the humidity from the air and you’re thankful for that. You know you need to take a trip to the market to pick up the herbs and ingredients you will need for the food you sell in the morning in front of your house. Living on $70 dollars a month, you know you cannot miss even one hour of selling food. But you forget about that for now, listen to the steady rain, and just enjoy sitting and eating this meal with your family.
This is probably not the first image that comes to your mind when you think of Vietnam. As Americans, we usually think of the Vietnam War when we think of Vietnam, and we fail to recognize the beautiful, intricate culture and people from this country. This training will explore Vietnamese culture both in Vietnam and the large Vietnamese population and culture right here in Cincinnati. Videos and pictures from my recent trip to the southern part of the country will highlight family interactions, traditions and values, belief systems, and overall daily life in both the city and more rural areas. Availability of mental health services in Vietnam will be explored as well as the cultural tendency towards self care and prevention. I will also be discussing my observations of orphanages while in the country and review the social emotional lesson plans I implemented in each orphanage (focused on coping skills and self esteem). I hope you will leave this training with a better understanding of Vietnamese culture and feel empowered to help children and families worldwide in practical, tangible ways.
Participants will be able to:
*Identify key aspects of Vietnamese culture in Vietnam and in the U.S.
*Gain greater understanding of availability of mental health services in Vietnam and explore preventative measures within in the culture.
*Identify the role of orphanages and institutions as well as the impact on child development and wellbeing.
*Understand tangible ways to positively impact children and families in third world countries, some without even leaving the living room couch!