SINGAPORE: As the world continues to grapple with the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing awareness of the need for mental health support. Counselling trainers are now predicting a sustained demand for courses in this field even as the pandemic wanes.

Notably, para-counselling courses have emerged as a popular choice among individuals seeking to apply their newfound knowledge at home and in professional settings.

According to industry experts, the demand for mental health support courses will likely remain strong post-COVID-19, reflecting a broader societal recognition of the importance of mental well-being.

The versatility of para-counselling courses, allowing participants to implement their skills in various contexts, has contributed significantly to their popularity.

Yuna (transliterated from Mandarin), a course attendee who enrolled in a para-counselling course during the pandemic, shared her experience with Channel 8.

Initially motivated by the desire to provide mental health support to her son, Yuna found that the skills acquired during the course extended beyond her immediate family.

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Following the completion of her training, she became a volunteer at the Salvation Army and the Prison Service, showcasing the practical application of peer coaching in diverse environments.

In her interview with the Channel, Yuna emphasized that the para-counselling sessions boosted her confidence in assisting others and equipped her with the ability to ask the right questions and provide timely assistance.

Moreover, the training covered non-verbal communication skills, such as body language, sitting posture, and eye contact, enabling participants to express themselves effectively.

Leading counselling training institute, Blended Concept, reported a substantial increase in enrollment for mental health support courses since 2021.

More than 300 individuals annually have signed up for these courses, constituting over half of the total student population.

The diverse pool of participants includes caregivers, human resources professionals, and business leaders, highlighting the broad appeal and relevance of peer coaching in various sectors.

As the demand for mental health support continues to rise, these courses equip individuals with the skills to address personal challenges and contribute to the broader goal of creating a supportive and empathetic community.

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The surge in enrollment reflects a societal shift towards prioritizing mental health and underscores the enduring impact of the pandemic on the way individuals approach their well-being.