The Director of Akona School of Counselling Ghana (ASC), Mr Abraham Konotey Ahulu, has called on institutions in the country to train professional counsellors to deliver quality services.
According to him, professional counselling services in corporate, financial and religious institutions are necessary for national development.
He observed that employees in some institutions faced challenges that were beyond medical practitioners, and as a result needed the assistance of professional counsellors, adding that “no institution can flourish without the assistance of professional counsellors.”
Mr Ahulu was speaking at the 3rd graduation ceremony of the school in Accra on the theme: “The need for psychological counselling in Ghana.”
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Two hundred and six students from the 14 campuses of the school across the country were awarded with postgraduate diploma in psychosocial counselling, marriage and family counselling and theology and leadership.
The director observed that a number of professionals engaged in counselling in their day-to-day activities, noting that “the contributions of such professionals would be greatly enhanced if they acquired training as professional counsellors.”
That, he said, would help to drastically reduce, if not completely eliminate, the increasing cases of divorce, suicide, rape, child abuse, spouse abuse and general mental health conditions.
Mr Ahulu said ASC Ghana, in collaboration with African Association of Psychosocial and Marriage Counsellors, was committed to training professionals in the sub-region.
Counselling in churches
The General Overseer of the Ellah Ministries International, Apostle Nathan Mensah, reiterated the need for the establishment of welfare and counselling units in churches.
Apostle Mensah, who is also a professional counsellor, admitted that even though some churches had such units, they were not operating effectively, indicating that the importance of counselling in churches could not be underestimated.
“Preaching and prayer alone cannot solve problems. There are some issues that demand the services of a counsellor, and that should not be neglected. Psychological counsellors have been trained to see beyond the challenges of people and help them overcome them,” he stressed.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Education, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said the government, through the Ministry of Education, would support efforts by organisations to train counsellors. He also urged the graduates to put their training to effective use.