By KP Sharma

To provide accessible and convenient mental health support and guidance to the people, the Department of Education Services, MoESD launched the e-counselling and consultation services yesterday.

The digitised e-counselling portal provide individuals with access to online counselling and consultation services facilitated by the certified counsellors in the country.

Individuals can get connected with the counsellors by filling up the google form and sheet that is available on the Ministry’s website and on Facebook page-sherig e-counselling and consultation services.

According to Reena Thapa, the Chief Counsellor at Career and Counselling Division, the initiative would be effective in bridging the gap between those who have access to counselling services and those who do not, thus making the professional counselling services readily available to the people. “It would create a society that promotes the people to seek support and avail counselling services either online or in person.”

Reena Thapa said that when individuals submit the details through the online form, they would be connected to the counsellors who would then reach out to provide support and assistance.

Tashi Namgyal, the Director for the Department of Education Programmes said that the introduction of online service is to help the students, as mental health issues are a growing concern in the country. He said that the online platform is kept simple to make it user-friendly and encourage people to utilise the system.

He said that the ministry aims to reach the counselling services to all the needy individuals as mental health issues are a growing concern in the country. 

Meanwhile, the education ministry has also trained 191 principals, 110 counsellors, and 358 focal teachers in some dzongkhags and thromdes to enhance counselling services in schools.

The initiative, according to MoESD Lyonpo Jai Bir Rai is to address the shortage of counsellors in the schools. He said that the ministry has also trained and appointed a male and female teacher as focal teacher to take the role of a counsellor in case the school lacks a certified counsellor.

The minister further said that the ministry has proposed to increase the intake to 30 at Samtse College of Education to address the shortage of counsellors in the country.

The Department of Education Programmes in collaboration with the PEMA Secretariat developed the e-counselling and consultation service.