With the cases of incessant rape, suicide, drug abuses, corruption and other social anomalies in the country, the Institute of Counseling in Nigeria (ICN) has called on individuals, corporate bodies, institutions and government to hire the services of professional Counselors and Psychotherapists in the interest of ensuring sanity.
The provost of the institute, Dr Tolulope Oko-Igaire and other stakeholders made this known at the media unveiling of the institute at its head office in Lagos recently. The institute is regarded as the first and foremost Counselors and Psychotherapists training centre in Africa.
Giving the statistics of people who are sexually assaulted, raped and among others, she said “According to report in 2017, 10,000 girls are sexually assaulted, raped daily in Nigeria. Another report says, marital separation rates in 2018 saw a 14% increase across the whole population. In Nigeria, one in seven persons aged 15-64 years had used a drug (other than tobacco and alcohol) in the past year. Nigerians used to be termed the happiest people on earth, but we are currently ranked 85th in the world.
Emphasising on the need to seek professionals as regards counseling, Tolulope said “It can no longer be business as usual, we can’t keep mounting pressures on our spiritual leaders as if they are superhuman. Your pastor is not a sex therapist, your Alfa is not a trained grief and bereavement counselor, your mother in Israel is not an addiction counselor neither is your spiritual father a child and adolescent counselor.”
Meanwhile, she stated that the institute was established to address counseling related issues as it affect individuals and corporate organisations.
“Institute of Counseling was carefully created after noticing these massive vacuum in our society. Every individual wanting to go through the journey of self-discovery needs the institute, Companies that need to get the best from their employees need the institute (HR has gone beyond the old norm), churches that want happy and productive members needs the institute and educational organisation that really want to thrive cannot do without the institute.
“Government organisations, public parastatals and institutions need the institute to achieve the dream of a greater society,” she explained.
Adding that people don’t need to go aboard anymore to get certificate in specialised fields of counseling and psychotherapy because they can now apply for full time or part time courses in the country.
“Every individual passionate about humanity can now take a breath of fresh air, as they no longer have to travel overseas to get certified in specialised fields of counseling and psychotherapy,” she explained.
Furthermore, she stated that counseling is the new generational skill for optimal performance and a fulfilling destiny, urging both the private sector and government to support the course of the institute, pointing that school, hospitals, prisons, religious centres and others needs it more than ever.
Similarly, the Advisory Board Representative, Lekan Ajisafe disclosed that “A closer look at our society today will reveal to you that a lot of Nigerians are suffering from various forms of mental and emotional problems and most of them are not even aware of it because the Nigerian government and citizens are doing close to nothing to educate the public and proffer reasonable solutions to all these social anomalies. From the problems of abuse to that of addiction; from bad parenting to domestic violence; from corruption to power abuse; from pedophilia to rape; from depression to suicide; no one needs to be told that something is wrong with our society and we need therapeutic interventions now than ever before.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Alumni president of the institute, Ibironke Banjoke Olukoga urged the government and private sector to work with the institute to solve issues that needs counseling in the interest of building a better society.