The stress of living in a broken family, the demands of school and societal pressures in a rapidly changing world can lead to anxiety, depression and even suicide. In these situations, EMCC counsellors bring hope and life skills to suffering family members and hurting individuals to help them cope and recover from their trauma.
The work that EMCC has been doing over the past years since its establishment in 1997 – counselling, mediation and parenting education – is not high profile or highly visible to the public. However, these services provide the glue that holds a stressful society together. I am happy that EMCC persevered over the years and now has garnered more support from donors, enabling it to offer subsidized fees to needy families who tap its services.
For hurting families, it provides one-to-one and family counselling and mediation services in a private and safe environment. For students at risk of dropping out of schools, it offers counselling services to teach them coping skills in collaboration with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (formerly Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports). For fathers struggling with how to deal with teenagers, it imparts conflict management skills to them through its Father-Teen Conflict Resolution workshops for Fathers@Schools and Dads@Communities.
EMCC also offers peer mediation training to students, teaching them foundational mediation skills to resolve interpersonal conflict. On a broader front, it runs training courses for social workers, counsellors, mediators, family dispute resolution practitioners, educators and other professionals dealing with relational/interpersonal conflict issues of their clients.
The thrust of what EMCC does – in building confident individuals and happy families – is important in fostering a harmonious and cohesive society. This is something which I fully support. I hope you will too.
Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee