The University of Saint Joseph Counselling Centre and the Macau Society of Registered Psychotherapists Co-organised an Online Seminar Preventing Suicide: Empowering Frontline
On 25 July 2022, the University of Saint Joseph Counselling Centre and the Macau Society of Registered Psychotherapists co-organised an online seminar titled Preventing Suicide: Empowering Frontline.
On 25 July 2022, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) Counselling Centre and the Macau Society of Registered Psychotherapists co-organised an online seminar titled Preventing Suicide: Empowering Frontline. The President of the Society, Ms Cheong Cheng Ian, and its Chairman, Mr Lao Chan Fong, both registered psychotherapists, were invited to share with over 60 frontline social workers, educators, students, and members of the public about suicide prevention, treatments of clients at risk of suicide, and self-care methods for frontline workers.
In crisis management work, frontline social workers face challenges in supporting suicidal clients and their family members, and they may experience high levels of anxiety, low sense of competence, and empathy fatigue. This seminar is part of an effort to build a platform for frontline workers to explore how they can seek support and manage high-risk cases of self-harm and suicide.
During the seminar, Ms Cheong Cheng Ian pointed out that we should not take any case lightly but should carefully note and assess the risk factors for suicide, actively understand the spiritual world of clients for connection, and calm ourselves down first while accompanying clients to face feelings of frustration, hardship, and hopelessness. Additionally, she led participants in “Breath of Love” and “Inner Smile” as exercises to relieve anxiety and fatigue, stabilise their moods, and enhance their tolerance for stress. In the latter half of the seminar, Mr Lao Chan Fong shared his hands-on interactions with clients and how to unconditionally accept them and build a stable and trusting relationship with them through a humanistic approach, and to help them find meaning and value in their lives. He provided practical tips on dealing with repeated suicides attempts, such as crisis management steps that can be used during critical moments and encouraging peer support in seeking professional supervision and referral to work together to reduce the risk of suicide in real time.
The vision of the USJ Counselling Centre is to support the development of physical and mental health on campus and promote the importance of mental health among the community. The Centre aims to help to deal with difficult emotions, life stresses and other related health challenges. USJ counsellors hope to accompany and support their clients, by psychological counselling services, to understand themselves, manage stress, deal with distress emotions, and set individualized goals to maximize their potential. If you are interested in further information, you may visit the “USJ Counselling Centre” webpage at https://www.usj.edu.mo/en/counseling-service/.