Sierra Leone News: Depression on the increase …BBN trains counsellors

Sixty percent (60%) of the cases dealt with at the Believers Broadcasting Network (BBN) Counselling Centre are depression related, said Ransford Wright, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the network.

In an interview at the Grassroots Gender Empowerment Movement Training Centre hall, John Street, on Monday at the launch of a four-day Christian Counselling Training, supported by ‘Reach Beyond’, Mr. Wright explained that the idea of having a working Counselling Centre was borne out of a radio programme.
He explained that though counselling is new as “its not part of our culture, however, people have been introduced to it and it’s taking root gradually.”
He alluded to the fact that they’ve been able to “interact with over 6,000 people over the years.” Physically, over 3,000 people have walked into the Centre and received counselling service, while on radio thousands have called for counselling on problems, issues and challenges.
He highlighted that depression is one of the most common cases reported at the Centre, noting that a huge number of cases are depression related followed by marital and parental issues. Mr. Wright revealed that HIV/AIDS related issues and Child abuse are on a down low.
He noted that career guidance is also another key area that the Centre examines.
“You have lots of young graduates who are depressed because they are unemployed and some of them thought they might have made the wrong career choice.”
He noted that one of their approaches in proving career guidance services is to work with the secondary schools. “We would be engaging the parents through the radio, educating them on how to help their children select better careers.
This will in fact help parents to save a lot because it makes no sense after studying for four years at the university you are unable to practice productively what you’ve studied, he explained.
Speaking about the achievement of the Centre since its inception in 2012, Mr. Wright explained that the achievement of the Centre could be assessed by the number of people that have benefited from the services; we do have testimonies. Notwithstanding, he emphasized “one of the things about counselling is the fact that confidentiality is key so because of confidentiality we don’t bring people forward and people don’t like to come forward to testify, since most of these issues are personal issues that doesn’t have to go public,” he stressed.  “Nevertheless, the impact is tremendous, and the feedback is massive,” he said.
Reach Beyond volunteer, Kenny Dennis said he is humbled and honoured to be part of the training, adding that he would not only be sharing knowledge, but would also be learning a lot in the process.
Reach beyond International Health Care Vice President, Shila Leech, said she is happy to be back in Sierra Leone. She expressed admiration of Sierra Leoneans resilience in fighting and ending ebola, also noting that those participants who would be undergoing the training would serve as a channel of hope and blessing for this nation.
Awoko, Thursday May 05, 2016

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