Mangaluru: Ecolink Institute of Well-being, a city-based training centre successfully completed its first online batch of international students on Universal Treatment Curriculum for Addiction Professionals,
Congratulating the students and the Institute on its closing ceremony, Becky Vaughn, Director of Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC) said the 34 students passed out of the Institute are the first-ever batch around the globe, completing the course online.
“Now, they can write the GCCC’s international exam online and get their credentials to practise as an addiction professional anywhere in the world”, said Vaughn, who joined the closing ceremony as Chief Guest from the United States.
34 students including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and therapists from 6 countries attended and successfully completed 160 hours of training by the global trainers through Ecolink Institute. Currently, around 80 students from 10 countries are undergoing the training in two batches.
Universal Treatment Curriculum is developed by the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme, an inter-Governmental Organization long with the US Department of State, United States for training addiction practitioners around the globe. The UTC has 8 curriculum and 46 modules which are imparted through live sessions through a participatory approach. Students also receive a participatory manual for each curriculum with resource materials and PPTs.
Dr Khalid Hyumayuni, the Programme Manager of the Colombo Plan for Asia and Pacific region, who graced the occasion commented that capacity building is the main priority of the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme and it depends on Training Providers like Ecolink for this task. The UTC is expanded to over 80 countries with the help of international agencies like UNODC, WHO and Training providers.
Hyumayuni thanked the INL, US Department of State for taking initiative and providing continuous support to ensure a “minimum standards of care” in all drug recovery centres around the globe with evidence-based practices. “This requires training of addiction practitioners and mental health professionals as a priority”, he said.
Dr Thomas Scaria, the Director of the Institute commented that the growth in Substance Use Disorders was reported to be around 30 per cent growth in the world, comparing to just 10 per cent growth in its population. “This necessitates more addiction professionals with specialized training”, he asserted.
Dr Scaria has recently completed a UN training for Trainers in Drug Demand Reduction from Vienna and has joined the pool of Global Trainers under UNODC.
Dr Thirumagal, the key trainer of the UTC in Ecolink is an internationally reputed trainer in the DDR circles around the globe. “It is a proud moment for the Ecolink Institute as the graduating first batch is also the premier batch in the world who have completed the entire curriculum through the online platform”, she pointed out.
Being an approved Training Provider by the Colombo Plan and GCCC, the students passing out of the Ecolink Institute can write ICAP exam and secure an International License to practice as an Addiction Professional, which works as a job-oriented course for those planning to work abroad.
Several students who passed out have already become a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) and joined the international pool of addiction professionals already.
Iona Hegde, a psychologist from Mumbai who finished her course with Ecolink said she is more confident in handling addiction cases in her clinic and her attitude to them has changed positively.
Dr Anzany, an Indonesian said it was her fortune to complete the course online with globally certified trainers who made it like a “face to face experience”.
Renold Anpuraj, a Srilankan working for World vision said his motivation to join the course came from growing drug menace in his country and he wants to “do something for the drug users who are helpless”.
Dr Damber Nirola, a Psychiatrist from Bhutan and a trainer in Ecolink Institute launched the new website of the Institute, www.ecolinkinstitute.com on the occasion.
Ecolink is an Approved Training Provider of the Colombo Plan and the certificate issued by the Institute is recognized by Global Center for Credentialing and Certification, ISSUP and several countries. India is a founding member of the Colombo Plan, which was started as a Commonwealth Organization in 1951.