NIE's New Wellness Centre Offers Counselling at Reasonable Rates

NIE's New Wellness Centre Offers Counselling at Reasonable Rates

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Media Type
TODAY online (Hot News P6)

SINGAPORE - Affordable psychological and counselling services may be just a short distance away for students and residents in the western part of the island.

For a nominal fee of S$30 an hour, the public can seek help at the National Institute of Education's (NIE) Wellness Centre, which was opened yesterday.

Unemployed adults and external students are charged S$15 an hour, while NIE and Nanyang Technological University students do not have to pay.

The centre's rates are at least 10 per cent lower than those elsewhere.

The centre also serves as a unit that trains postgraduate educational psychology and counselling students.

It is staffed by trainees enrolled in the Master of Arts (Applied Psychology) and Master of Arts (Counselling & Guidance) - both postgraduate programmes at the NIE- and they are supervised by registered psychologists.

The centre aims to "reach out to the community", said Dr Vilma D'Rozario, NIE's sub-dean for student counselling and liaison. "We want our trainee counsellors and psychologists to be exposed to the community and their issues," she added.

Emphasising that counselling is not only for times when problems are being encountered, Dr D'Rozario said that the public could attend counselling to learn ways to cope better with issues in life.

The centre aims to help clients build resilience and to make happy lives even happier, she added.

The centre began as a clinic in 2009 and saw mainly students and teachers from NIE and NTU with relationship and family problems, as well as learning difficulties then.

The new centre boasts six counselling rooms, as well as a psychological testing room.

Supervising staff are able to do live supervision of their trainee counsellors and psychologists via closed-circuit television, while communicating with them via "bug-in-the-ear" earphone equipment.

The Wellness Centre is open on Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm and, upon request, from 5pm to 9pm on Mondays to Thursdays. Services are by appointment and do not require a medical referral. Group counselling and crisis intervention services are also available.

Source: TODAY online (Hot News P6), mediacorp