The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Counselling Centre (KCC) has organised a two-day training and orientation session for newly recruited peer counsellors for the 2020/2021 academic year at the Allotey Auditorium, College of Science.
The session was grouped under two main topics; ‘Introduction to Counselling’ and ‘Self Development’ to enable the newly recruits to become abreast with their duties, develop new qualities and observe the tenets of the counselling profession.
The Head of KCC, Mrs. Victoria De-Graft Adjei in her address, stated that the KNUST Peer Counselling (KPC) is a noble, voluntary and unique group on campus that encourages volunteers to showcase competency, trustworthiness, honesty and confidentiality while carrying out their duties as peer counsellors.
Speaking on monitoring the work of the peer counsellors, she mentioned that the recruits would be grouped and supervised by a counsellor who would also work with their respective College counsellors to provide support to colleagues in the various colleges. Mrs. De-Graft added that certificates would be given to Peer Counsellors at the end of their study at KNUST. She, therefore, encouraged them to actively participate in all activities of the KPC and the KCC, in order to be well-informed with current trends.
She assured the newly recruits of KCC’s support and urged them to seek assistance when they are faced with any challenges. This, she said, would well position them to offer help to others.
Mrs. Bernice Peasah, a counselling psychologist, took participants through a session on identifying peers in distress. She urged them to pay keen attention to some physical and psychological signs that their peers display and refer them to professionals. ‘As a peer counsellor, you need to be able to recognise signs such as a change in sleeping or eating habits or mood. Ensure you talk to your peers privately and express your opinion in a non-judgmental way to reduce embarrassment and avoid labelling peers.’, she added.
According to her, listening carefully to what is troubling one’s peers and expressing concern makes them feel safe and ready to share their problems.
Reverend Father Dr. Stephen Jantuah, Ms. Akua A. Addae, Mr. J. Asamoah-Gyawu and other professional counselling psychologists also took participants through some sub-topics which include: Counselling skills and Techniques, Qualities of a counsellor and Ethical issues in counselling, and Crisis intervention-basic skills respectively.
The newly recruited peer counsellors were taken through the procedures involved in writing a counselling report and regarding their roles.