J1195N Living Wholeness Asia

Thailand, Southeast Asia

The Situation

Mental Illness in Asia is a massive and largely ignored problem. Many factors combine to exacerbate the already complex issues.

·         Attachment and relationship challenges – parents frequently living separated for work reasons, poor parenting, neglect or abuse of children, many orphans, street and trafficked children and teens, marital conflict, violence, divorce.

·         Poor nutrition and underlying concomitant disease.

·         Trauma from frequent natural and manmade disasters, wars, genocide, oppression.

·         Poverty in itself (the constant stress of living without adequate finance) and its many implications as below.

·         Limited access to reasonable care, including trained personnel, medications, client and family support, and commonly inability to pay even if there were services or medicines. With mental illness many people need medicines long term which becomes unaffordable compared to say a course of antibiotics to cure a pneumonia.

·         Strong stigma/labelling of such people so frequently a reluctance to present for help until the situation is dire. Less access to care means people with conditions which might have been more easily managed present in end or chronic phase meaning treatment is less effective.

The Objectives

Living Wholeness seeks to work by invitation from local people within a society who are aware of this situation and see the essential need for counselling training to strengthen and preserve this sector of society.

The project is currently operative in Mongolia, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia.

The project includes these key elements.

·         Training of local counsellors at various levels (volunteer to professional level including educators) then supported as they train their own people groups in their own language with materials translated into that language.

·         Resources are important so training is undergirded with books and materials to supplement the educational process. These need translation into the local languages.

·         Research and evaluation is vital to assess how relevant and effective such training and resources are, both on the ground in each location and on a wider scale, evaluating the whole intervention, and fine tuning as required.

·         Community is integral to this project in that those trained continue to be able to access support, professional supervision and professional development.

Specifically four courses are offered as needed.

·         Level 1, a 6 hour introductory level course. Local delivery.

·         Level 2, a 60 hrs broad introduction for basic level volunteers. Level 2 graduates can teach level 1. Generally local delivery.

·         Level 3, a 300 hour over 12 months course giving solid skills and knowledge for active practical application. Level 3 graduates can teach level 1 and 2. Generally hybrid – combination of face to face intensives x 2 and online support for 12 months between.

·         Level 4, a 4 year support and professional development course. Level 4 people can teach levels 1-3. Most is online.

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