SDF Organises Her 3rd Abuja Counsellors Summit and Expo

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Dr. Sa'adatu Adamu, founder, Secure D-Future International Initiative speaking during the two day summit.

Mediaage NG News – ABUJA, Nigeria

Counselling arms the society to live a healthy life. The profession impacts the lives of individuals, families who make up our communities. It helps navigate difficult life situations, like economic hardships, death of a loved one, bullying, divorce, natural disasters, school stress, the loss of a job, amongst others.

Counsellors provide insights into management of mental health cases, such as anxiety, isolation and depression.

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A two day summit was organised by Secure D-Future International Initiative (SDI) for counsellors with the aim of bringing evolution to the counselling profession in Nigeria. The event, though in its third edition, is the first of its kind in the country and brought together professionals in counselling.

“Basically, it’s all about bringing counsellors together and helping them improve on their skills generally. I won’t say they don’t have the skills but, this is a measure aimed at getting them developed in this profession, Sa’adatu Adamu, founder of the institute, said at the event in Abuja.

“The spate of mental health cases is alarming. It means that we just have to be up and running, update ourselves, know what to do and provide first aid support. It means that we just have to be active at this point and equip ourselves more”, she added.

Sa’adatu admitted the importance of government support for the counselling profession because, “counsellors are frontline workers”.

“It means that when you are looking for that first aid service, you know that they (counsellors) are willing and ready to give. Counsellors are in schools, hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation centres, shelters, support homes, orphanages, they are everywhere.

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“It means the government need to look at counsellors as assets that need support to advance the profession.

“Presently, it’s hard for everyone in the country. So, counselors have been key to helping people get over depression, anxiety and other health issues caused by these economic hard times. It means that counsellors need more of these (trainings) and the government must fund them.

Speaking on one of the subtopics, “Preventive Measures In Counseling” during her presentation, she said it helps to identify risk factors and build resilience with psycho education.

“That means that when people come to you for preventive measures, you already taking them through the process. So, they are learning and already in tune with what can help them. When they come to you trying to sort out things, once you take them through the process, they now understand that mentally.

“It’s either they are not strong or they are strong or they can do things differently or not do things differently”, she stated.

As a counsellor, it is not helpful staying in a toxic environment

Country Director of SDF, Dr. Mohammed Audu said counselling helps in identifying persons in need of mental care, delivery of crisis management and prevention, fostering a healthy environment, restriction of maladaptive behaviours, providing total health care and encourage persons to seek professional help.

He said as a counsellor, it is not helpful to be in a toxic environment. “A counsellor in a toxic environment no longer behaves like a counsellor”, he stated.

MediaageNG SDF Organises Her 3rd Abuja Counsellors Summit and Expo Counselling arms the society to live a healthy life. The profession impacts the lives of individuals, families who make up our communities. It helps navigate difficult life situations, like economic hardships, death of a loved one, bullying, divorce, natural disasters, school stress, the loss of a job, amongst others.
Dr. Mohammed audu

“As a counsellor, try and affect a toxic environment positively. We want to make counselling a befitting career for the next generations, why living a mediaeval life? You must continually upgrade yourself, build your capacity everyday”, he added.

Dr. Mohammed encouraged counsellors at the summit to train themselves to stay abreast with the latest techniques in the profession.

Speaking on “Stages of Modern Crisis Intervention in Counselling, a sub topic in his presentation, he said they include identifying the problem, providing support, make a plan of action, ensure safety of clients, examine alternatives that can be used and obtain commitment from the client. The last stage he said is the most difficult but, important because a client may fall into relapse.

“Relapse is bound to happen at this stage, it’s very usual, Dr. Mohammed said.

“What is advised here is to make a referral that will offer fresh ideas. This entails crisis prevention, guidance and counselling at an advanced level”, he disclosed.

We can make Nigeria a global estate

Dr. Moses Paul, speaking on “The Economic Impact of Counselling On the Society, Addressing The ‘Japa’ Syndrome”, said the impact of professionals leaving the country has affected the nation’s economy because it has lost key professionals and has resulted in brain drain.

He said the dearth of skilled professionals due to the japa syndrome has led to reduced tax revenue in the country. However, he said there could be a way out for solutions.

“There’s no time as difficult than now in the nation’s history. When we invest in mental health services, including counselling, it plays a crucial role in retaining talents, Dr. Moses, the author of ‘The Nigerian Dream’ said.

MediaageNG SDF Organises Her 3rd Abuja Counsellors Summit and Expo Counselling arms the society to live a healthy life. The profession impacts the lives of individuals, families who make up our communities. It helps navigate difficult life situations, like economic hardships, death of a loved one, bullying, divorce, natural disasters, school stress, the loss of a job, amongst others.
Dr. Moses

“Mental health improves an employee’s wellbeing, increases productivity, improves the work environment and develops a patriotic mindset. When you talk about the mind, you are talking about power, that’s where the power is.

“We can make Nigeria a global estate. All we need to do with the mind is to never give up. “Building a patriotic mindset is the highest level you can get. What we need to be doing is to hold meetings like this and at the end of the day, it is not only want Nigeria can give to you but, what you can give to her”, he added.

Dr. Moses also revealed that by acknowledging that the japa syndrome is more than just an economic issue, and by investing in counselling services, nations can create a healthier and more productive workforce, ultimately enlightening their economies.

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