Fewer soldiers counselled last year

National 1 minute, 48 seconds


THE Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Counselling Centre has registered a steady drop in the number of military personnel seeking help for personal issues over the past three years, its chief counselling officer said.

Major Isewandy Murni said 106 people had sought professional help last year compared to 136 in 2013. Twenty-eight people received therapy in 2015 thus far.

Some of the cases included military personnel who wish to end their duties; pressure from work; family issues; psychological or mental health illnesses; and military detainees who have disciplinary problems, he told The Brunei Times yesterday.

The chief counselling officer, speaking on the sidelines of RBAF’s 54th anniversary celebration at Penanjong Garrison, said the majority of RBAF members who were counselled were those who wanted to end their military duties.

“Most of the military personnel who wanted to quit were those who have been in service for more than five years. I would say 60 per cent of them wanted to start businesses and 40 per cent of them wanted to find careers elsewhere either in the government or private sectors,” he said.

The centre had also handled cases of army personnel facing personal issues such as financial difficulties, divorces or troubled children, he said.

“We will try our best to solve their problems. When it comes to divorce cases, I would say out of 10 cases, we manage to put a stop to four to five divorce cases from being filed to court,” said Major Isewandy.

He also attributed the decrease in people seeking counselling to the increasing number of leadership courses for military officers.

The courses have encouraged close communication in sharing of problems among military officers and their subordinates.

“Military personnel are now aware about the importance of understanding the problems faced within their unit. When this happens, the problems are solved among themselves without having to visit the counselling centre,” said the chief counselling officer.

There are currently three trained army counsellors at the centre, he said.

“We handle around 15 military personnel and also their family members a month. It must be noted that not all the cases are military personnel. We also provide counselling for their children,” added Major Isewandy.

The Brunei Times