English | Dzongkha Friday, October 30, 2020

Virtual outpatient counselling very effective, BNCA


Sep 22, 2020

To provide a continued service to the mandatory clients, the Bhutan Narcotics Control Authority (BNCA) started a virtual outpatient counselling during the lockdown.  There are 110 clients who receive the treatment services from the authority. All these clients are given one to one individual counselling services.

The authority assigned four counsellors ensuring that each councillor reaches to at least ten clients in a day. Over the weekend the counsellors cover almost all the clients referred to them by the Royal Bhutan Police.

“We have been giving continuous support to these clients even during the lockdown. So basically what we do is we try to meet with them individually over the virtual counselling service. The advantage that we have found through this one to one virtual individual counselling is, we are able to keep contact with them, we are able to understand the current situation of them, accordingly we are able to provide intervention and treatment program to them,” said Nima Damdul, the Chief Program Officer at the BNCA.

And according to Tashi Choden, a counsellor at the BNCA, the virtual counselling also help the team to focus on a particular client and know more about them. She said shy clients are more comfortable in coming forward on such platforms than on the in-person counselling.

“When we provide counselling in BNCA, more male clients, clients aged under 18 and some 51 below are mostly seen. There are few female clients who don’t come forward since many clients are male, so we cannot meet with some of them. Now, with the introduction of virtual counselling, they said they are more comfortable sharing about their problems,” she said.

“Before, even if they want to, they couldn’t share their problem. Yes, we give them the opportunity to share their problem, but they cannot because of a large group of people present,” said Sukman Subba, also a counsellor at the BNCA.

With the positive feedback from the clients, the authority is planning to continue the virtual counselling hereafter.

“The one-to-one counselling through the virtual outpatient treatment services have been very effective. So we are now thinking to contribute this virtual outpatient treatment services even after opening our regular classes and treatment service here in the Bhutan Narcotics so we will be doing this not only here but we would also like to adopt the same services in other drop-in centres,” said Nima Damdul.

The BNCA will be receiving an additional of around 25 clients from the Royal Bhutan Police.

Pema Seldon Tshering

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