Nigerian Counsellors Must Be Well Funded And Supported

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Mrs. Ndidi Mbagwu.

Mediaage NG News – ABUJA, Nigeria

UK based mental health practitioner, Ndidi Mbagwu said the counseling profession in Nigeria should be at the same level as other developed countries, therefore, must be well supported and respected to make the desired impacts they are known for.

She said impacting the mental state of the society requires backing to produce exceptional results.

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“Funding is another difference. Counselors there (the UK) are well respected, they do their work knowing that they are going to be paid by the government, she said while speaking at the 3rd Abuja Counsellors Summit and Expo 2024, organised by Secure D-Future International Initiative (SDF) in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

“The NIHS is free for everyone in the United Kingdom. When you require any support, whether counseling or any medical assistance, it is free. In that sense, you don’t need to fight over your money or do a lot of voluntary work. Most of the things we do here are voluntary (Nigeria), like NGOs. In the UK, it’s different.

“Counseling is not regulated anywhere, including the United Kingdom. But, we can provide trainings. Look at what we are doing here today, which is very good and amazing to get counselors here. If these number of persons can be pulled here, the government should be doing the funding because, these frontline workers are important in our communities”, she added.

While making her presentation on the topic “Role of Counsellors In Our Communities”, Mrs. Mbagwu in her paper, said it’s an opportunity for counsellors in Nigeria to re-emphasize and know what they are doing, identify areas where the government and other persons can come in and support because they are doing a great job.

“They are the frontline workers there to support the society directly. They are the gatekeepers needed to know what their roles are.

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“You cannot be a mental health practitioner without being a counsellor, it’s part of the skills you need to have to be able to function as a mental health practitioner”, she revealed.

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