MINIMUM STANDARDS TRAINING ON COUNSELLING AND STRESS MANAGEMENT FOR GBV SERVICE PROVIDERS

MINIMUM STANDARDS TRAINING ON COUNSELLING AND STRESS MANAGEMENT FOR GBV SERVICE PROVIDERS

“Service providers may be negatively impacted or stressed by the psychological problems of the gender-based violence survivors that they are supporting. In this circumstance, it is important for a service provider to be aware of their feelings, and develop coping strategies for their work,” noted Dr Chhim Sotheara, Executive Director of Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation (TPO), during the training on minimum standards for basic counselling and stress management for service providers working with women and girl survivors of GBV.

This training, organised by TPO on 24-26 May 2022, targeted the gender mainstreaming action group (GMAG) members of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY). It was supported by the Australian Government, through the Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program, and aimed to enhance the capacity of members of the GMAG of MoSVY on basic counselling standards and how to best cope with occupational stress when working to support vulnerable women or persons with disabilities.

H.E Em Chan Makara, Secretary of State of MoSVY and General Secretary of the Disability Action Council (DAC) stated that in the past, the psychological well-being of survivors was often overlooked due to service providers’ lack of information or skills in providing psychological counselling. Therefore, this training equips them with participation, listening skills, questioning, observation, that better equip service providers to provide quality support to GBV survivors.

He added that basic counselling was an interactive process between service providers and recipients in which information was exchanged with each other and support was provided to women for them to make more informed decisions.

Mr Connor Floyd, Second Secretary of the Australian Embassy to Cambodia expressed appreciation to H.E Em Chan Makara for making the capacity building of his team a crucial element of the DAC strategy and for prioritising this training in order to equip the team with minimum counselling skills. He expressed confidence that the three-day training would be extremely useful to all participants.

“Mental health issues are often ignored, misunderstood or underestimated. Many people still feel uncomfortable speaking about this and prefer to avoid the topic. However, we should know that mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are affecting most of us and in our lifetime, we are likely to face at least one episode in our personal life. It is great that you can learn today from the team of experts from TPO.” Connor added.

Ms Sean Polin, a participant, and the Deputy Director of the Social Welfare Department at MoSVY said that the training provided by TPO was very useful to not only help clients but also be self-aware to identify and manage stress.

TPO is one of ACCESS’ Implementing Partners supporting the implementation of the National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women.