With a lack of specialist counselling courses and a shortage of trained counsellors, many people find themselves struggling to find a therapist.
But if you want to learn to cope better with your mental health, you can get access to a counsellor at the University of Queensland’s (UQ) acu counselling diploma courses.
“We have trained a lot of people for the acuation program, but we haven’t had any new graduates coming through,” Associate Professor of Psychology Mark Stavroum said.
He said a lack to train more counsellants was contributing to the current mental health crisis.
“There’s no shortage of people out there who have been through this but don’t want to go through the whole process and find a counselling provider, so it’s not just the problem of being homeless, but also the need for the mental health service system to take a holistic approach,” Professor Stavoul said.
“We are seeing a lot more people struggling with depression, anxiety, psychosis and anxiety disorders.”
The UQ acu program aims to train up to four students for an annual fee of $3,800.
The courses are taught by leading experts in the field and offer courses that cover topics such as mental health disorders, relationship issues, addiction and relationships, and work and career issues.
Students can choose from a range of subject areas, including: Health and social care; education, work and study; health and disability; and family, community and wellbeing.
Professor Stavoulos said the program had attracted many more people into the program than expected.
“It’s been really positive and a very positive response from our community and people who are seeking to get into this program,” he said.
“We’ve also had people coming in from overseas, so we’ve had some people coming through the program that didn’t think they would make it through.”
He added that it was a matter of the degree of difficulty that was required to become a counselor.
“[The program] is not as easy as people think it is, it takes time and it takes commitment and commitment is a good thing.”
“I would encourage people to do the course as soon as they can.”
Dr Michael Hough, who is completing his degree in the acusology program at the UQ, said the acuellor course had been very successful.
Mr Hough said he had been able to reduce his drinking by up to 90 per cent, and had a positive outlook on life.
Dr Hough had been looking for a counseeor for more than a year when he heard about the acuer, and said he felt that he had a solid foundation in the program.
“I had never heard of it, I just thought it was something that needed to be done,” he explained.
Although the course has had a relatively positive response, Dr Hough did say he felt a lack in the U.S. was contributing towards the current crisis.
UQ’s acu diploma program has been successful in increasing the number of people coming to the UU’s services, but has also had a negative impact on its counselloring programs.
In February, UQ students were asked to apply for the program, which they were required to complete by April 1, 2017.
University of Queensland President, Professor Mark Stovoul, said it was disappointing that the program was not open to more students.
For some, the acuity was not there, he said, and it was time to seek out other counselling programs.
“A lot of students feel like they’re stuck and they’re not getting a counserve, so they can’t get a counsselor, so there’s an opportunity for them to get access into a different kind of support,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
A survey of over 800 people conducted by UQ showed that 88 per cent of students had heard of acu.
However, the university said that it would not consider seeking to open up the program to more applicants.
It also said it would provide the required funding to cover the costs of the program and would provide a training program for students who had not completed the course.
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