KUALA LUMPUR: The government aims to produce 10,000 lay counsellors next year to curb the increasingly worrying mental problems in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said today.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said that up to 2018, some 5,500 individuals were trained as lay counsellors through a programme under the voluntary concept.
“We will further strengthen this (lay counsellors) programme next year to multiply the existing number.
“Anyone who wants to be a lay counsellor will have to go through a screening test and go for a three-day course to get a qualification certificate,“ she said after attending a women’s carnival and ‘Back to School’ programme in Kampung Pandan Dalam here.
The counsellors’ programme, which began in 2015, is a collaboration between the Board of Counsellors of Malaysia and the Department of Women Development (JPW) which serves as a platform for advisory and guidance to community members in need.
Meanwhile, Dr Wan Azizah said, as of November 2018, a total 26,601 women had benefited from the Women’s Anti Crime programme, Campaign To Tackle Violence Against Women, Round Table On Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) and Legal Clinic.
She said the programmes which were implemented by JPW were aimed at giving exposures in the legal aspect, women’s rights and information on aid channels to the women requiring them.
In addition, she said the government would continue the implementation of women’s empowerment programme to ensure the group’s well-being which would enable them to actively and effectively contribute to national development.
Among the programmes were women’s economic empowerment through Community Based Enterprise (CBE) which were implemented by the State Women Development Office under JPW.
‘’The women’s group including housewives and single mothers with low incomes too will be guided by business operators, individuals with skills or entrepreneurs who are successful in their respective fields so that they can generate incomes through entrepreneurship endeavours,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Pandan Member of Parliament, said the Legal Clinic which was held during the ‘Santuni Rakyat’ programme in Pandan Indah on Sept 29 would be continued next year.
She said with the availability of the legal clinic the residents in the Pandan Parliament could obtain free advisory services from lawyers.
In the meantime, she said the Pandan Parliament Service Centre had been instructed to always go down to the ground and look into the problems of the residents in the parliamentary constituency.
‘’Among the problems of the people which have to be given attention and prompted acted upon are the issues of floods, landslides, fires, visiting the destitute and sick and on occasion of death,’’ she said.
At the Pandan Women’s Aspect Carnival and Back to School Programme, Dr Wan Azizah handed over contribution cheques to five schools in the Pandan Parliament for maintenance and repairing facilities and equipment.
The schools were Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Taman Seraya which received a contribution of RM48,350; Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Taman Muda (RM45,690); SK Taman Bukit Teratai (RM38,600); SK Tasek Permai, Ampang (RM34,900) and SK Pandan Perdana (RM32,640).
In addition, Dr Wan Azizah also handed over contributions of schooling supplies to 50 children in the parliamentary constituency. — Bernama