Through NKF’s Project Sunshine, volunteer Ms Ho Lay Khim, 48, has been trained as a para-counsellor to help patients psychosocially and emotionally, which is an important part in patients’ continuing journey towards rehabilitation. Her role as a paracounsellor is a supporting one in step down care to NKF’s full-time counsellor.
Lay Khim underwent four modules of training which started last August. The topics included basic counselling skills, understanding kidney patients’ medical condition and their challenges among others.
“Your heart has to be with the patient. If you have compassion, things will start happening.”
The mother of two, who also holds a full-time job as an administrator at a telecommunications company, said that part of her role is to share the importance of self-care and to encourage patients to generate self-help options in their daily lives. She took up this voluntary position as she has always wanted to be a teacher or counsellor.
In April, Lay Khim was extremely heartened after the delivery of her first para-counselling session with the guidance of NKF’s counsellor. She shared that the patient was very receptive and open to her. As a former nasal and lymphoma cancer patient, Lay Khim is able to relate to the anxieties and stress that comes with an illness. “The patient I’m helping is recovering from depression and has personal baggage,” said Lay Khim. “My role is to provide a listening ear, be a source of support and to do my best to encourage self-help.”
She hopes to continue counselling the patient for as long as she needs it. “I will just walk this path with her as long as she lets me.”
To find out more about Project Sunshine, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org