Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Bhutan : Her Majesty the Queen receives EMA award

Her Majesty Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck has been awarded Excellence in Mental Awareness certificate by National Board for Certified Counselors and Affiliates (NBCC), world’s largest counseling organization based in the USA, in recognition of Her Majesty’s advocacy for mental health care in Bhutan. The award was presented on September 21 by the leaders of NBCC, who travelled to Bhutan specifically for that purpose.

According to a press release from NBCC, the award was presented in acknowledgement of Her Majesty’s dedication and innovation in recognising and taking action to prevent mental health problems in the lives of women, girls and all the people of Bhutan. The press release noted that many of Her Majesty’s efforts involve REWA (Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women).

At the award presentation ceremony in Thimphu, Dr Kraus from NBCC said, “Never have we seen a country whose leaders, policymakers, and mental health professionals understand and support counseling as a means of help for so many people.” He also noted “the unprecedented attention that Bhutan’s leaders, particularly Her Majesty, were giving to the profession of counseling”. Dr Faster, another NBCC leader, said, “Her Majesty’s dedication to the empowerment of women serves as a wonderful model for women in leadership positions.”

NBCC also awarded a special bronze NCC certificate to Tshering Dolkar from RENEW, Bhutan’s first National Certified Counselor, honouring her “extraordinary efforts to qualify for the most prestigious credential in counseling”.

During the presentation ceremony, Dr Clawson from NBCC announced three NBCC-supported initiatives in Bhutan. NBCC will train trainers for Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) programme. Under RENEW’s auspices, MHF trainers will teach basic mental health concepts and help develop skills tailored to the needs and customs of Bhutan.

In the second initiative, NBCC will use its extensive professional resources to help the Ministry of Education and the Royal University of Bhutan to create a degree programme in counseling. NBCC will also facilitate exchanges of counseling professors and internships for students in Bhutanese schools and clinics.

Based in Greensboro, NBCC currently works with some 400 US universities that offer advanced degrees in counseling. More than 42,000 masters degree-level professionals hold NBCC’s National Certified Counselor certificates.


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