The Community Services Center turns 35 this year, a significant milestone for the organization. Founded in 1987, the Taipei-based nonprofit has striven to provide high-quality support services to Taiwan’s foreign residents to help them settle and acclimate to life in Taiwan.
Chief among the Center’s top-tier attributes is its strong and diverse counseling team. All of its counselors are licensed by Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare and are required to speak English fluently. In addition, counseling services are provided on a sliding-scale basis and capped at NT$3,500 per 50-minute session. For emergencies, the Center operates a 24/7 crisis line.
As the number of foreigners in Taiwan has grown significantly in recent years, so has demand for counseling at the Center. Executive Director Adam McMillan notes that last year, the Center provided over 6,000 counseling sessions, a nearly six-fold increase from when he began at the organization in 2012. The growing need for discreet, quality English-language mental health care has resulted in a waitlist for those seeking counseling through the Center.
In addition to counseling, the Center organizes activities such as hikes and local tours, as well as cooking, exercise, and survival Chinese classes, and orientation programs for newcomers. It also hosts cultural and educational events, and publishes a monthly lifestyle magazine, Centered on Taipei, which features stories on cross-cultural living, counseling and health, travel, hiking, sports, cultural and community events, and the arts. Living in a new place far away from home can be a challenging experience; however, the Center and its many offerings constitute an important support network for both long-term and newly arrived foreigners in Taiwan.
To accommodate the increased demand for its services and continue expanding its work with Taiwan’s international community, the Center has decided to move to a new and more updated location. McMillan stresses that the move will not be an easy one, pointing out that in order to be certified as a mental health facility in Taiwan, the new location will need to meet certain criteria, including soundproof counseling rooms. He adds that switching locations and ensuring that everything is up to code will require a substantial investment of time and money. The Center’s team has thus begun seeking partners and donors to raise funds and provide essential goods and services in support of the move.
To learn more about the Center and find out how you can support this important institution, please contact: