The Counseling Centre of the University has organised its maiden Counselling Awareness Week under the theme “Counselling: An Effective Tool for Promoting the Academic, Career and Socio-Personal Development of Students”.
Opening the week-long programme, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. D. D. Kuupole, said despite the fact that counselling played a critical role in the lives of students, only a few seek professional assistance when they experience problems. “Students shy away from counselling due to the fear of stigmatization”. He recommended intense public education as a means of reducing stigma and limited knowledge associated with seeking counselling.
Prof. Kuupole called on Counsellors to organize seminars, workshops and radio programmes to educate students and staff about the values of counselling services. According to him, experience has shown that individuals were more willing to seek counselling when they were encouraged by their friends and family members to go for professional assistance.
The Vice-Chancellor commended the Counselling Centre for instituting the awareness week to educate the university community on their activities and programmes as well as the opportunities available to both students and staff. He therefore called on the general public not to wait till they encountered problems before they sought counselling.
The Director of the Centre, Prof. Godwin Awabil noted that information shared with a professional counsellor would not be disclosed to any third party without the consent of the client. He therefore urged all to have confidence in the counsellors and take advantage of the opportunities at the centre. It was his expectation that the week celebrations would lead to a greater understanding of the value of counselling and prevent the psychological barriers that inhibit seeking of professional counselling.
The Provost of the College of Education Studies, Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah chaired the function.