65 counselling and psychotherapy specialists deployed to rural hospitals

Stakeholders in mental health sector have expressed optimism of taming suicide cases following the deployment of 65 graduates from Ticia Counseling Centre in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

The graduates have been deployed to the rural health centres in Balaka, Chikwawa, Blantyre and in the outskirts of Mzuzu City.

Ticia Counseling Centre, in conjunction with DMI-St John the Baptist University and the Ministry of Health and Population, are running trainings in Counseling and Psychotherapy, a move the consortium devised to contribute towards reducing mental health problems in Malawi.

DMI St John the Baptist University

The trainings are aimed at providing candidates with necessary knowledge, abilities and skills and best practices in counselling and psychotherapy. Participants will be given Certificates of Achievement at the end of training.

Ticia Counselling Centre executive official, Patricia Singini, said they expect the graduates to contribute to the national efforts to reduce mental health problems that have, in some instances, resulted in loss of lives.

“These graduates are doing their practicals in Blantyre, Chikwawa, Balaka and Mzuzu. Meanwhile, we are currently receiving applications for intake into HIV Testing Services training,” said Singini.

She stated that their courses have proven effective in mainstreaming counselling and psychotherapy services in the government and private sector.

Singini said mainstreaming of counselling and psychotherapy services in all sectors would help Malawi address rising cases of suicide in Malawi, a consortium of Ticia Counseling Centre, DMI-St John the Baptist University and the Ministry of Health and Population has said.

Malawi has recently registered an unprecedented rise in the number of people taking their lives in Malawi due to various social and economic reasons.

The recent prominent case was that of Reverend William Mumba of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia.

However, Singini admitted that Malawi suffers a huge shortage of counselling and psychotherapy specialists.

“And that is why we are coming in. The good news is that we have now expanded our programme and training centres in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu so that more people can enroll for the course. Our desire is to ensure that Malawi has adequate counselling and psychotherapy specialists both in rural and urban areas,” she said.

The second cohort is currently continuing with HIV Testing course. The course provides holistic therapeutic counselling, which is combating issues of HIV and Aids, chronic diseases, Covid-19, gender based violence (GBV), child marriages and many other areas affecting psychosocial issues in Malawi.

According to Singini, the minimum entry requirement is the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) or its equivalent and relevant professional qualification.

The structure of the programme is: one month for theory and two months for clinical practical.

“The programme will be offered using face to face, blended learning and online learning. Classes will be conducted during weekdays and weekends. Duly completed applications including copies of certificates, references letters should be submitted to the following address below: DMI-ST. John the Baptist University (Blantyre Campus). Box 5806, Blantyre, Malawi or Ticia Counselling Centre, P.o Box 3292, Blantyre or to the following e-mail: [email protected].

“Application forms can be obtained at a cost of MK5000.00 from DMI St John the Baptist- Blantyre Campus. For further enquiries, please contact the Liaison Officer on the following number: 0 212 522 097,” she explained.

Singini disclosed that the enrolling students will be required to pay a tuition fees of K 200,000 for both theory and practicals and K30,000 Certificate Processing Fees.

“Tuition fee should be deposited into Mybucks Bank Account Number 9072476605018 whose name is Ticia Counseling Centre,” she said.

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