Ethnic tool offered

By Sacha Harwood

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A new counselling service is available in Hamilton for the ethnic community, who may find themselves isolated and unable to communicate properly.

Diversity Counselling supervisor Kou Kunishige says if people cannot speak English they struggle to express what they are experiencing in a new country.

"They hesitate [to come to counselling] because they know they cannot express what they are going through."

Diversity Counselling provides a counselling service in the native language of people who've emigrated to New Zealand.

It is a charitable trust and is currently not funded. Kunishige says they are in the final stages of establishing the donation process, and they will need funding to make fees cheaper for people who cannot afford them.

Japanese counsellor Kaoru Tsukigi says Asian people often feel counselling is for the mentally ill.

"I would like to convey the idea that counselling is an important tool for the ordinary person."

The counsellors are New Zealand trained and people can choose which counsellor they would like to see, and do not have to stay with the person who speaks their language if they do not feel comfortable.

The counsellors are Adrienna Ember, who is Hungarian, Kou Kunishige and Kaoru Tsukigi (Japanese), Freda X'ia (Chinese) and Vanisri Mills (Sri Lankan). Lorena Guller Frers offers English and Spanish counselling.

Diversity Counselling works with the Migrant Resource Centre, SHAMA (Hamilton Ethnic Women's Centre Trust), Male Survivors, Sexual Abuse Trust Waikato, Rosetown Counselling Centre, Men's Work: Professional Counselling Services, English Language partners New Zealand and LinkHouse.

More at www.dcnz.net/home.

- Hamilton News

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