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Do you need to see a counsellor but can’t afford one? Well, here’s your chance to get a full-month’s worth of professional counselling for FREE.
Mental health issues have always been something Malaysians swept under the rug. This is because we’re worried about being labelled ‘crazy’, ‘koo-koo’, ‘gila‘, ‘weird’, and ‘orang Tanjung Rambutan’.
Thankfully, a new era where youngsters are becoming more open about the internal problems they’re facing are rising. More people are coming to terms with their inner demons and are actually seeking help.
Of course, professional help has never been easy to access and the fact that they’re very pricey doesn’t help too! Which is why psychologist and counsellor, Alvin Tan Kuan Sean came up with The Help Talk.
The Help Talk is an online platform where people who are going through any mental issues can speak to professionals about their problems. However, instead of having it done in a traditional face-to-face session, this is done online!
Alvin told WORLD OF BUZZ that money is usually the main issue. He said,
“I realised throughout my time in private practice, that cost is oftentimes the concern for people seeking mental health services.”
“The demand is actually high, but people do not know where to go, how to afford such services, and are generally suffering in silence.”
“I have been working on building a platform to connect mental health professionals with clients online. The platform allows therapists to consult clients more efficiently and in higher volume, and as such, reduces cost significantly,” he explained.
In order to receive feedback on this brand-new platform he has built, Alvin has decided to test out the quality of his services by giving out his expertise for free.
“The reason I want to see clients for free for a month is to experience being the therapist myself, and to also understand more on what can be improved in terms of the client’s experience.”
Now, before you start thinking ‘must be some quack’, Alvin is actually a certified and experienced counsellor.
He obtained his Bachelor of Psychology and Master of Clinical Psychology in HELP University. He was a lecturer at HELP College of Arts and Technology as well as a clinical psychologist at Rekindle Therapy before moving on to opening his own clinic.
“I have been a psychologist in private practice for the past 5 years, working with clients from diverse backgrounds.”
“Throughout my time in training and independent practice, I have been attached to a government hospital, human trafficking shelter, private practice, and university counselings centre.”
For a moment in his career, Alvin even ventured into the F&B business! Now, he has decided to make an online service to help bridge counsellors and psychologists with people who are in need of help.
This online psychologist service isn’t foreign to the world. In the US, there are such services available too. However, Asia doesn’t seem to have one (or at least it isn’t well known), and the US-based psychologists are rather pricey.
Alvin would know this well because he has sought for their services before too.
“The service that I got was great; unfortunately it was at too high of a cost (USD$170, which is about RM700). It’s as good as seeing a therapist in person in Malaysia!”
“So I’ve been working on building a platform for the Asian region, where the regular guy or girl is able to afford such services, in a manner that is convenient and private for them.”
Well, whoever needs psychology therapy or counselling can sign up right now. Here are the criteria one needs in order to be eligible for a session:
- Malaysian, or currently residing in Malaysia
- Aged between 18 and 38 years old
- Does not share any personal relationship with Alvin (i.e. friends, acquaintances, etc.).
- Genuinely has personal issues to discuss or overcome
- Understands English as a primary language
- Is not currently under inpatient and/or psychiatric supervision
- Does NOT have self-harming or suicidal tendencies
- Has steady access to the Internet
At the very end of the therapy session, all Alvin needs is for the client to fill in a little feedback form. Hurry though, because slots are limited!
There are only 20 slots available.
Those who have sought counselling or therapy services before are highly encouraged to apply.
To make a reservation, simply e-mail Alvin at [email protected] and provide a brief reason as to why you would like to have therapy. Do indicate whether you’ve had counselling or therapy before too.
In the end, the most important thing is to get the help we all deserve. If we can walk into a general practitioner’s clinic for a common cold and not be judged, we should also be able to walk into a psychologist’s clinic for mental issues and not be judged as well!
It’s about time Malaysians face the problems in our heads, because sometimes, it’s not ‘just all in our heads only’. After all, these things can truly affect our daily lives like any other illnesses.
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