All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.
There are no counselling associations in Palau.
Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes
There are no counselling or psychology degrees offered at either of the universities in Palau.
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres
Background & Context
Very little is known about the counselling profession in Palau due to the lack of literature that is available. However, there is a document that was drafted by the Ministry of Education in 2011 that serves as a comprehensive guide for program revision, improvement, and evaluation of guidance and counselling services in schools. Per the World Health Organization (2011), mental health services training for primary health care practitioners has begun to decrease. Palau shaped its mental health model after the American mental health model in hopes to reach the same success for their citizens mental well-being (Ministry of Education Palau, 2011). The information on the history of guidance and counselling in Palau mainly focuses on the history of the American model, rather than the history of the Palauan model. Although Palau adopted the American model for guidance and counselling, they still made some adjustments to better fit their country’s needs (Ministry of Education Palau, 2011).
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
No information could be found for any organization or government body addressing the certification, regulation, or training of professional mental health counsellors in Palau. However, the Ministry of Education provides policies for various educational programs (Ministry of Education Palau, 2011). Establishing policies for educational programs for guidance and counselling is pertinent to the progression of counselling in Palau. The problem of public acceptance of counselling is still an issue and the counselling profession continues to struggle to be recognized by the majority of the public.
The amount of counsellors that exist in Palau is still unknown. However, counselling is provided in the following settings:
- Primary and secondary schools
- Psychiatric hospitals
- Non-government organizations
Challenges & Trends
Reflecting on the history of mental health services in Palau is extremely challenging because there have not been any major improvements until the early 2000’s. Local aspiring counsellors would have to further their studies internationally after attending the local community college, in which most would prefer doing so at American universities. The majority of the public remains skeptical of counselling services. However, as more education about counselling services continues to increase, hopefully the more accepting the Palau citizens will be of the counselling field.
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:
- Ministry of Education Palau. (2011). A Guide for Program Revision, Improvement and Evaluation.http://www.palaumoe.net/cacg_resources/localresources/corners/pdf-files/PalauCounselorGuide-Part1.pdf
- World Health Organization. (2011). Mental health atlas – Palau.https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/profiles/plw_mh_profile.pdf?ua=1