27th BGF Counseling Course Level 1 started on 29 September 2019

The 27th Counseling Course Level 1 started with a bang with our Bro. Keek Seng Bee’s presentation on ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’. There were 41 registrants in total with 39 of them turning up at the first lesson.

‘Suicide: What we all need to now’ talk at Sam Poh Tong on 25 August 2019

For the first time BGFCU organized a talk in Mandarin on this all important topic at Sam Poh Tong temple. Here’s the report from the speaker Bro. Quek Ser Pin from Xiao En Counseling:

Thanks for the invitation on what was the first Mandarin public talk by the BGFCU. Couldn’t agree more with this initiative to enter and benefit this community. On a rainy Sunday morning, I did wonder how many people would leave their warm beds and attend a two-hour talk.

However, the attendance rate actually exceeded expectations. In addition to those who registered in advance, there were many walk-in registrations. Seeing the participants paying close attention and asking questions, really touched me that more and more people are willing to understand the issues and do their part in suicide prevention.

Outreach Visit to Pelita Counseling Centre on 21 September 2019

BGFCU had a successful learning visit to the Pelita Counseling Centre at the YBAM. A fuller account by Bro. Moi Pak Kheong is on elsewhere in this issue.

Advanced Counseling Skills Workshop on 12 October 2019

As part of our ongoing training to upgrade the skills of our Para-Counselors (PCs), this workshop was conducted by Sis. Siew Yin Heng, BGFCU’s registered counselor and attended by 20 PCs. As reported by Sis. Phaik Sim:

Building on the fundamental skills of the PCs, the workshop taught additional techniques to strengthen rapport with PIN or Person-in-need. The PIN needs to feel “heard and understood” in order to have a deeper conversation voluntarily.

PCs can help PINs to focus on the most pressing issues, self-examine themselves and view issues in a new perspective. Calms down over-anxious PINs by helping them realise they’re not abnormal. At the same time, PCs also learn to protect themselves and to maintain a professional relationship at all times.

World Mental Health Day Fun Run on 12 October 2019 at Ecohill, Semenyih

BGFCU was invited to participate in the Mental Health Awareness booth at this event. A fuller report by Sis. Wong Chung Heong is on elsewhere in this issue.

Mindful Parenting Workshop on 19 October 2019

As reported by Sis. Mun Teng:

The Mindful Parenting Workshop was held on 19 October 2019 (Saturday). Sis. May Liu, a clinical psychologist and certified mindful parenting trainer, conducted the workshop. There were a total of 17 participants.

The main focus of the event was to strengthen family structure through mindfulness practices. The speaker talked about automatic parenting, mindful parenting and mindful communication with the participants. Interactive activities were also carried out during to enhance the understanding of participants.

The workshop received positive feedback and provided parents / future parents good insights for their parenting journey.

Education and Career Guidance Workshop on 30 November 2019

The target participants for this workshop are teenagers 15 to 17 years to be accompanied by at least one of the parents. Further details are in the poster somewhere in this issue.

The 2019 Para-Counselors Training (PCT) for the telephone helplines

The 2019 PCT which started on 9 March 2019 ended on 14 September 2019. The 8 volunteers who completed the program were given certificates at the graduation ceremony followed by a dinner to celebrate the occasion.

A big vote of thanks to our departing Sis Siew Yin Heng, the training coordinator who also started the program. Thanks are also due to the facilitators, Sis Wong Chung Heong, Sis Iris Goh, Sis Ke Xian and Sis Wan Yue. 5 of the graduates have also been selected to be Para-Counselors and will serve the counseling helplines for a minimum of 2 years.

Changes to BGFCU Exco

Sis Yeoh Phaik Sim has been appointed the new Deputy Main Coordinator to help Sis Wong Chung Heong to run and manage the unit.

BGFCU Telephone Counseling Service

With the addition of 5 PCs, the Telephone Counseling Service (Tel: 03-78599610 and 03-78599682) will have additional operating times from November 2019 onward as follow:

Mondays to Fridays from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
Wednesdays to Fridays from 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

BGFCU is taking action to be able to offer a limited helpline services in Mandarin in addition to English. Sis. Wong Chung Heong and Sis. Koo Yoon Kin have started the process by undergoing a counseling course in Mandarin conducted by PELITA of YBAM

Buddhist Gem Fellowship