|Friday, 5 September 2003|
by Nadira Gunatilleke
The National counselling service implemented by the Social Welfare Ministry countrywide has achieved a great progress. Nine counselling centres operate in nine Divisional Secretariat divisions in the country and four more counselling centres will open shortly at Welimada, Ambalantota, Batticaloa and Vavuniya increasing the total number up to thirteen, Social Welfare Ministry Secretary Viji Jegarasasingam said.
She said that well trained counsellors serve at all counselling centres but more awareness rasing should be done among the public because the public rarely use this service when they require assistance. Therefore the Ministry has conducted awareness raising programs for civil servants, community leaders and school children of the Divisional Secretariat divisions where counselling centres operate.
Awareness rasing programs were conducted by all counselling centres during last year. A significant increase in the number of persons who seek counselling has been noticed in several Divisional Secretariat divisions after conducting awareness raising programs, she said.
The Ministry also counselled a large number of people affected by the recent floods and landslides. Flood victims were counselled at refugee camps and two counselling camps were organised in the Ratnapura district. Private counselling services also conducted counselling programs in the Matara district under the ministry supervision.
More awareness raising programs and counselling services will be organised this month in order to solve area based problems such as suicides, family problems and liquor addiction. A National level workshop will be held parallel to the National Counselling Day which falls on October 15.
An Act prepared by the Ministry in this regard to be presented in the Parliament shortly.
Produced by Lake House