UNICEF and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Youth Union Launch Youth Counselling Manual for Helpline Volunteers
The Manual on Youth and Adolescents Counselling for Lao People’s Revolutionary Youth Union (LYU) Helpline Volunteers aims to improve counselling techniques for national and sub-national LYU staff in Lao PDR
Vientiane, 7 June 2022 – To better support helpline volunteers in delivering quality counselling services for children and youths, UNICEF Lao PDR and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Youth Union (LYU) today officially launched the Manual on Youth and Adolescents Counselling for LYU Helpline Volunteers.
The publication is the first-ever LYU counselling manual focusing on youth and adolescent issues. It provides technical tools and information, such as code of conducts, communication tips and data collection forms, for counsellors to effectively support children and youths. Jointly developed by UNICEF and LYU, the contents are drawn upon from counsellors’ experiences, multi-sectoral consultation and exchanges of lessons among government partners, UN agencies and CSOs.
“The LYU would like to extend our sincerest thanks to UNICEF for the technical and financial support for the development of the manual under the project ‘From Behind Closed Doors – Reaching Vulnerable and at-Risk Children with Quality Protection and Mental Health Services in East Asia and the Pacific’. The manual will be instrumental in strengthening the capacity of national and sub-national LYU helpline staff and volunteers to provide counselling support to children and youths more effectively,” said H.E. Mr. Monxay Laomuaxong, Secretary-General of LYU.
2020 and 2021 saw heightened child protection risks for children and their families due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including domestic violence, gender-based violence, mental health and online exploitation and abuse. The LYU helpline analysis shows an increased level of stress, depression, fear, and anxiety due to missing school, difficulty in finding a job, family conflict and reduced income among others. UNICEF Lao PDR has been supporting the LYU toll-free number since 2021 to remove financial barriers and to expand its helpline service to Luang Prabang, Luang Namtha and Oudomxay provinces, which is now offered in three ethnic languages. As a result, 3,711 people accessed and received counselling service through the LYU helpline in 2021, representing a 92% increase compared to 2020.
“As we move towards a post-pandemic world, new challenges will emerge as we navigate through the aftermath of the pandemic. It is during a time of change that we must pay special attention to children’s psychosocial well-being and ensure that support is in place for those in need. UNICEF will continue working closely with the LYU and the Government of Lao PDR in improving the accessibility and quality of counselling services to respond to the psychological and psychosocial needs for all.” said Mr. David Duncan, UNICEF Representative a.i. to Lao PDR.
Currently, the manual is being used for training LYU volunteers and staff in Vientiane Capital, Luang Prabang, Luang Namtha and Oudomxay provinces. UNICEF and LYU are working to distribute and implement the manual across the country for a nation-wide scale-up of counselling services.
Both English and Lao versions of the manual can be accessed on the UNICEF website here
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