Rina: National Counselling Policy to be implemented from next year

Rina: National Counselling Policy to be implemented from next year

BANGI: The National Counselling Policy will be implemented from March next year with the focus on addressing mental health issues by enhancing the counselling services, says Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Seri Rina Harun.

She said the policy, approved by the Cabinet on April 28, last year, would enable the counsellors registered with the Malaysia Board of Counsellors to provide counselling for individuals with mental and emotional issues.

The minister views the counselling profession as a ‘vaccine’ for individuals who required assistance, especially early counselling and emotional support, as well as friends to talk to and to listen to them.

“For example, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a deep impact as some people lost their jobs and family members. This group needs to be given attention to enable them to rise again,” she said at the opening of the National Counselling Symposium 2022, here, today.

“To date, there are 9,802 counsellors registered with the board, comprising trained counsellors who handle their clients’ cases based on the counselling ethics set while all information shared with their clients are confidential,” she added.

Rina said the process of drawing up the National Counselling Policy and Comprehensive Counselling Services Action Plan in Malaysia began upon receiving approval from the Cabinet.

She said it involved holding engagement sessions with counselling experts, non-governmental organisations and registered counsellors to obtain feedback and views on the need for a policy that would be in keeping with the changing lifestyle and effects of the pandemic and natural disasters. – Bernama