By Saidatunnajat Yusuf, BMSG Volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellor
When Clarity Singapore offered to do a Crisis intervention Workshop for BMSG Counsellors, I jumped at the opportunity. I thought this was a very good effort to help our counsellors be equipped with skills to assist mothers whom we counsel who may be in crisis.
During the session, we covered ways on how to recognise warning signs of individuals who may be suicidal. We also learnt the 6 steps in crisis intervention and how to apply the skills during a crisis. We were also educated on how to practice self care as counsellors in the event and aftermath of a crisis.
The workshop was an eye-opener. The most poignant part of the workshop for me was the role play, where one of us had to create a scenario where we were a mother calling into the BMSG hotline who is feeling suicidal while the other is playing the role of a BMSG counsellor. We had to apply the skills we learnt to try to act immediately and connect with the mother while also taking control and actively assessing the situation. I found that being the counsellor on the phone was hard as this was because we had to go straight into questions to elicit the suicidal ideation. Using words such as “suicide”, “dying” and “taking your own life” was extremely challenging. At many times during the role playing exercise, I felt hopeless and panicky, even when I was the counsellor needing to control the situation.
Suicide is often seen as a taboo topic in our community and sadly, it is not spoken about often enough. It is real and some people really do need the help especially during these tough times. I’m so glad that Singapore has centres such as Clarity to assist those who are troubled and now, some of our BMSG Counsellors have been trained to know what to expect when mums who need help contact us.
Editor’s Note: More BMSG counsellors are slated to attend the crisis intervention workshop in the future.
Clarity Singapore is a charity that reaches out to individuals with mental health issues, including mothers who may be facing pre- and postnatal depression, among other mental health issues for individuals from all walks of life.
Contact Clarity Singapore via the following channels:
Telephone – 6757 7990
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org