PUTRAJAYA: Counselling services should start at the early stage with interventions in school or at home by parents if needed, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pix) said today.

She said the number of people with emotional problems is too huge for counsellors to effectively address today’s increasingly complex social problems.

“Anxiety is at 39.7% followed by depression at 18.3% and stress at 9.6%,“ she said in her speech at the launch of National Counselling Month 2019 in Putrajaya International Convention Centre here today.

Wan Azizah said as of Aug 31, there are 8,773 counsellors registered with the Board of Counsellors and 9,115 Lay Counsellors have been trained.

“The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry through Women Development Department has created Lay Counsellors in the community,” she said.

“This counsellor is a frontline person who helps to hear problems and provide emotional support to friends in the community.”