Shayal Devi, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, The Fiji Times
ISSUES that led people to seek counselling has broadened significantly and more people are now coming forward to receive help.
Empower Pacific's media and communications advisor Mark Vitlin said the new Empower Pacific counselling centre at Lautoka Hospital would fulfil a number of functions, primarily on individual and family counselling for a range of issues.
"Through experience we have realised that there is more to just focusing on HIV and STI counselling, and pregnant mothers present a range of issues that need to be addressed," he said.
"Even for many, this is their only opportunity to share their issues with a counsellor.
"The new facility will provide an opportunity to holistically deal with issues presented by mothers that range from domestic violence, child abuse, and many other issues that could be detrimental to mother and the unborn child."
Mr Vitlin said another area of concern were the children and how they coped with emotional distress.
"They need to know there are people who can support and assist them with any problem they may have.
"Often the problems are serious and beyond the expertise of teachers or other adults in their lives.
"In these situations, it is important that school children have access to counsellors. This does not necessarily mean that all schools must have one on site but it does mean that schools and children know how to contact counsellors if necessary."