Celeste Matross, Ms

South Africa Country Director at REPSSI

Celeste Matross, Ms is the South Africa Country Director at REPSSI. She holds a Master of Social Science degree in Psychology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her career as a psychologist has spanned 15 years and has included the provision of mental health and psychosocial support services to victims of violence and human rights abuses with a particular focus on South African and refugee survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and torture. She is passionate about the development of community-based psychosocial support services and has provided capacity building; supervision and mentorship to community-based lay and volunteer counsellors in South Africa, Sudan, the Gambia and Guinea. She has also co-developed online curricula and facilitated capacity building workshops on MHPSS and Transitional Justice; Trauma-Informed Information Gathering; Approaches to Supporting the Families of Victims of Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and Trauma Informed Transitional Justice Processes with human rights actors and psychosocial support practitioners from the Philippines, twelve countries in Africa and six countries in the Middle East. She has presented this work at the United Nations Geneva office for the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture’s 5th Annual Expert Workshop, “Rehabilitation and Redress for Victims of Sexual and Gender-based Torture”, the presentation was titled “CSVR explanation of treatment modalities for Survivors of Torture”; International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR) Conference in Serbia, Novi Sad, presentation title: “The exilic consciousness and its impact on belonging and identity in refugee and asylum seekers within South Africa; and the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims’ (IRCT) 10th Scientific Symposium in Mexico, Mexico City, presentation title: “Does our work get lost in translation”. She has recently contributed to the African Union, Peace and Security led policy on MHPSS in conflict and post-conflict settings and completed training as an EASE facilitator in Istanbul, Turkey, hosted by WHO and UNICEF.

Email: celeste.matross@repssi.org

Professional Expertise



Conflict/post-conflict settings, Disaster relief/response, Displaced population health, migration/refugee issues, Gender-based violence and intimate partner violence, Resilience, Severe mental health conditions, Sexual and reproductive health, Trauma

Methodological Areas

Community engagement and CBPR, Grant and proposal writing, Intervention development and testing, Measurement/psychometrics, mHealth/eHealth, Program evaluation, Qualitative methods

Strategies expertise

Advocacy, Community engagement, Capacity building, Dissemination and implementation, Quality improvement, Partnership development, Supervision and coaching, Sustainability

Intervention Expertise

Cognitive behavioral therapy, Family interventions, Mental health awareness/promotion, Mindfulness/meditation, Parenting interventions, Psychosocial skills, School-based interventions, Support groups, Evidence-based mental health practices

Partnership Expertise

Community-based organizations/coalitions, Faith-based organizations, Funding agencies, Government agencies, International NGOs, Multilateral organizations, Schools and universities