CRPF to tackle stress, depression among its personnel

Pilot mental health project to cover 25000 soldiers

Irfan Tramboo

SRINAGAR, Apr 6: In order to equip its soldiers with the ways to deal with the difficult mental situations and elevate their relations with their families that usually remained affected due to stress, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has kick-started the ‘Mental Health & Gender Sensitization’ program which is set to cover around 25,000 personnel posted in its Srinagar Sector by December this year.
Under the program, which has been given the name ‘Love You Zindagi’ the trainers will evaluate soldiers on their vulnerabilities as well as the scale of depression along with the anxieties that they are facing and will subsequently train them to handle such situations.
As per the program, 24 people from the 22 battalions and 2 Group Centres in Srinagar have been trained by the concerned trainers who are assisting the CRPF in the conduct of the program
“A total of 550 personnel have been trained in Phase-1 and Phase-2 and in Phase-3, 3 trainers each will further go to every company in the Srinagar sector and will aware the personnel there on controlling the thought process; about the thoughts, they need to inculcate, how to avoid negative thoughts that usually lead to suicides and other acts,” said Monica Salve, Assistant Commandant CRPF, who is also coordinator of the program told Excelsior.
The program will also cover the financial front, the ways of dealing with issues that arise there. Officers said that they (the soldiers) earn rich and they retire poor and do not know how to create assets for their sustenance. They said most of them spend lavishly during their service year and finally end up with too many liabilities, which in turn tell upon their mental health.
Under the program, which is already on, the soldiers will also be taught about how to spend and how to invest for better post-retirement years which is said to be the decisive factor in their mental well-being.
“We will also teach them about empowering their spouses. There has to be an understanding between the husband and wife which is going to help them in the de-burdening process; under the program, we are trying to bridge that gap; to let men do their work and empower women, their spouses to do the other stuff,” said Javeed Ali, Assistant Commandant 73 Battalion said.
The program was started in January this year, under which 25000 CRPF personnel in the Srinagar sector are going to be trained by the end of December this year.
The program has been tailored and is carried out in tie-up with Amrita University and People for Parity, a non-profit NGO that works on gender sensitisation.
The officers said that while the phase-1 and phase-2 of the program have been carried out, the results will be clear by the end of phase-3 when the program will reach the last man in Srinagar. “So far, we can say that it is helping as there has been a drastic change reported,” Monica said.
The main focus of the program is going to be getting rid of what is being termed as the “burden of patriarchy”. Under the program, the officers said, the focus will be on identifying the spots which are telling upon their mental health despite all other facilities that they enjoy.
Notably, last year, in Jammu one such program was also carried out for more than one month during which around 3500 people were trained.