By Teresa Parker - Development Director
Nepal Youth Foundation’s Ankur Counseling Center (ACC) provides therapeutic counseling to nearly 1,000 adults and children, annually. In addition, ACC trains almost as many adults with backgrounds in education, medicine and mental health in counseling and therapy skills. Conducting orientation sessions quarterly, they also lead multiple-day training sessions and at least one advanced training session every year.
ACC’s results-oriented mental health programs continue to generate support and interest. Their staff now regularly makes presentations, teaches group sessions, and leads workshops in regional schools and colleges. With a leading-edge understanding of mental health and the many effective ways to minimize its effects, ACC receives invitations to present their methods to an ever-increasing number of professionals and organizations throughout Nepal.
Freed Indentured Daughters Receive Counseling and Counseling Training
The ACC staff of mental health practitioners continues to work closely with the Freed Kamalaris Development Forum (FKDF), the nonprofit organized by once-indentured and now free young women. With the assistance and training provided by ACC, these formerly bonded girls are able to deal effectively with their earlier traumas. The flagship training program offered through the FKDF, “Basic Counseling Skills,” continues to show remarkable results. This six-day training teaches accessible and transferable counseling and facilitation techniques which the young women can then put in service to help resolve the psychological troubles of their freed younger “sisters.”
In addition, a shortened three-day form of the “Basic Counseling Skills” course is now regularly given to school teachers and members of child care institutions, focusing on child psychology, communication skills and behavior change cycle.
Among their many effective modalities of treatment are Creative Movement Therapy (CMT) for stress management, Non Violent Communication (NVC) to enhance the understanding of the influence of language on behavior, and courses in “Sex and Sexuality” offered to adolescents, providing an open forum for exploring these topics while examining the associated emotions and social consequences.
In the schools and colleges, ACC also holds ongoing orientation sessions with young adults, providing information about the myths and realities of therapy. By these means, ACC continues to develop a positive attitude toward mental health counseling. These programs are fruitful for Ankur, allowing many opportunities to disseminate its services to the community and schools.
World Mental Health Day Celebration – October 10, 2011
ACC participated again in 2011 in the World Mental Health Day, using the event as a platform to raise public awareness about mental health issues in Nepal. ACC’s successes with their many modalities has helped to promote more open discussion of the problems of mental illness, which is still a new and sensitive subject for most Nepalese.
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