Police personnel undergo psychological counselling

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Police personnel undergo psychological counselling

Jun 4, 2015-

Nepal Police has been providing psychological counselling to its staff to help them cope with stress and anxiety in the aftermath of the Great Earthquake on April 25 and slew of strong aftershocks.

In the last two weeks, the Nepal Police has offered psychological counselling to around 1,000 police personnel of all ranks at the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office, Ranipokhari, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, Kathmandu and District Police Offices in Gorkha, Dhading, Dolakha, Ramechap, Sindhupalchok, Kavre, Nuwakot and Rasuwa districts.

In some places, even Armed Police Force personnel actively involved in rescue and relief efforts in the wake of the April 25 earthquake have been provided psychological counselling.

Senior Superintendent of Police Sarvendra Khanal, who coordinated the psychological counselling programme conducted at the District Police Office, Bhaktapur on Thursday, said the Nepal Police decided to offer such counselling to its personnel involved in relief and rescue efforts including those who have been affected by the quake after realising that while taking care of the quake-affected public, the needs of their own staff might be grossly overlooked.

“Many of our ground level police personnel worked under extreme conditions despite having lost their loved ones and houses to the earthquake,” said SSP Khanal. “Now that things have eased a bit, it is essential to be with them and help them cope with their own earthquake fears so that they would be able to perform their duty of maintaining peace and security smoothly.”

For instance, police personnel interviewed in Rasuwa are worried that the fast approaching monsoon season will further weaken the hilly terrain already destabilized by the earthquake and trigger a huge landslide in their area. In Nuwakot, police personnel complained that they are very disoriented and feel that the ground beneath their feet is shaking even without an earthquake. They also complained of often feeling very low and stressed out of having to engage in mentally and physically tiring relief and rescue efforts.   

The counselling conducted by the police headquarters focuses more on stress management through progressive relaxation exercises.

As part of this exercise, police personnel are taught relaxation techniques through meditation to help them remain calm. Similarly, Nepal Police have also resorted to music therapy to help the ground level police personnel involved in rescue and relief efforts relieve themselves from the stress.

Published: 05-06-2015 08:08

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