All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.
Kiribati Counsellor Association (KCA)
The website could not be found and neither could any other information available except for the name and organization size which was available in: https://pacific.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/Kiribati-Family-Health-and-Support-Study_0.pdf
Organisation Size: > 60
The Alcoholic Awareness and Family Recovery Association (AFFR)
The website could not be found and neither was any other information available except for the name which was available in https://pacific.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/Kiribati-Family-Health-and-Support-Study_0.pdf
- Organisation Size: N/A
Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes
There are no universities or colleges offered nor listed in any type of counselling or psychology course in Kiribati. However, the Kiribati Counsellor Association provides basic training in counselling for teachers, police, nurses, and church leaders.
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres
Background & Context
Kiribati is an independent republic located in the Micronesian region of the Pacific. There is very limited exposure to counselling in Kiribati because the country has a population of roughly one hundred thousand citizens. However, counselling training is provided to a range of careers which includes basic counselling training for teachers, police, nurses, and church leaders (Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 2010). Additionally, the counsellors who work for the Kiribati Counsellors Association (KCA) receive minimal training on gender-based violence and child abuse cases (Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 2010).
Despite the availability of this training, financial and human resources for people in Kiribati remains an issue (United Nations Children’s Fund, 2017). Professional training for counselling is still limited as there are not enough resources available. Individuals who desire to study counselling can not get the proper training and those who wish to seek counselling services are not receiving proper services because the exposure to high level counselling has not been reached in Kiribati.
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
There is no formal regulatory body for the counselling profession in Kiribati. Although some non-government organizations (NGOs) are not formally involved in counselling services, there are some NGOs that provide counselling for mental health problems such as the Alcoholic Awareness and Family Recovery Association (AAFR) and the KCA (Oten et al., 2013). However, no official licencing for counselling in Kiribati has been established. The Honorable Minister Kouraiti Beniato recognized the growing issue that the country has been facing (Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 2010). He made a statement that indicating he “[was] committed to a policy of zero tolerance of violence against women and children” (Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 2010, p. iii). According to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (2010), it is very common for women aged 15 to 49 to experience some sort of violence towards them.
It is unclear how many counsellors exist in Kiribati. However, counsellors practice in settings including:
- Hospital’s and mental health facilities
- Non-governmental organizations
- Religious organizations
Challenges & Trends
Kiribati had a lack of mental health institutions that offered treatment for the people in Kiribati until early 2000. There is a very sparse amount of literature on counselling associations due to the inability to access their websites. However, according to the World Health Organization report on the mental health availability in Kiribati, NGOs have slowly taken action on providing mental healthcare for the people and have continued growing services to protect children, women, and family at risk (Oten et al., 2013). The biggest challenge that Kiribati faces regarding mental health is the available information and resources for receiving mental health services.
Additional Information & References
For a deeper exploration of the counselling profession in the country, interested readers are recommended to read the following journal & website articles:
- Oten B, Reiffer A, Funk M, Shields L, Ruteru K, Hughes F, Sugiura K, Drew N, Skeen S. (2013). WHO profile on mental health in development: Republic of Kiribati. Geneva, World Health Organization. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/85307/9789241505673_eng.pdf;sequence=1
- Secretariat of the Pacific Community. (2010). Kiribati family health and support study: A study on violence on women and children. UNFPA. https://pacific.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/Kiribati-Family-Health-and-Support-Study_0.pdf
- United Nations Children’s Fund. (2017, December). Situation analysis of children in Kiribati. https://www.unicef.org/pacificislands/media/1131/file/Situation-Analysis-of-Children-Kiribati.pdf