All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.
There is no information that can be found online in regards to any counselling associations present in Tuvalu.
Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes
The three universities present in Tuvalu do not offer any training in counselling or other mental health services.
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres
Background & Context
There is very limited information on the background of the counselling profession in Tuvalu. Currently, the counselling services in Tuvalu are mainly supported by the Australian Government through Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women, 2018). There are two main documents supported by Pacific Women which are improving community awareness and outreach and improving counselling and other support services in Tuvalu. Per the Pacific Women (2018), the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) delivered a two-week counselling training program to women that covered the violence and inequalities they face in Tuvalu.
Although “the Family Protection and Domestic Violence Act includes a provision for certified counsellors to provide counselling services for victims” in Tuvalu, there still is not any actively practicing counsellors (Pacific Women, 2018, para 7). Since Tuvalu does not have any certified or trained counsellors on the island, the Pacific Women and the World Bank are co-funding training to establish a pool of counsellors in Tuvalu who are equipped to provide counselling services to victims of violence (Pacific Women, 2018).
Pacific Women also funded a local Counselling Coordinator position and Psychosocial Counsellor Adviser in the Community Affairs Department for 18 months to further improve counselling services in Tuvalu (Pacific Women, n.d.). These two new positions will be responsible to improve services by supporting a new group of local counsellors and creating policies, guidelines, and an overall framework in which counsellors can operate (Pacific Women, n.d.). Also, diploma-level training in counselling through the Australia Pacific Technical College and short courses in counselling will be provided to increase the pool of skilled counsellors, as well.
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
There is no information that could be found via research to any counselling practices provided in Tuvalu. However, Pacific Women is funding a local Counselling Coordinator position and Psychosocial Counsellor Adviser to further improve counselling services in Tuvalu. It is also unknown how many counsellors there currently are in Tuvalu, and it is also unknown what settings are used for counselling.
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
The literature regarding mental health provisions in Tuvalu was very limited, which causes problems when further education is needed for counselling students. There is currently no mental health policy for Tuvalu which is an indication of the lack of education the citizens and government is receiving about mental health. The only mental health professional on the island was a nurse who has some mental health training, hence people are looked after by their relatives as the only form of mental health care.
Additionally, there are only certifications for providing basic level violence prevention and treatment. There is an increasing number of social problems in Tuvalu, including substance abuse, marginalization of youth, crowded housing conditions, lack of training, and employment opportunities. All these problems indicate that the demand for counselling services is highly needed in Tuvalu.
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:
- Pacific Women. (2018). Counselling training in Tuvalu. https://pacificwomen.org/news/counselling-training-tuvalu/
- Pacific Women. (n.d.) Psychosocial counsellor adviser, Tuvalu. https://pacificwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Psychosocial-Counsellor-AdviserTuvalu_TORFinal.pdf
- Pacific Women (2020). Tuvalu country plan summary. https://pacificwomen.org/key-pacific-women-resources/tuvalu-country-plan-summary/
- World Health Organization. (2014). Mental Health Atlas Country Profile. https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/profiles-2014/tuv.pdf?ua=1