The government has undertaken a series of steps to reduce stress among soldiers, including preparing an elaborate Mental Health Programme, Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said on Thursday.
Mental Health Programme
In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Naik listed out measures like the Mental Health Programme for the armed forces which was prepared by the Director General of Armed Force Medical Services (DGAFMS) in September, 2008. The programme has been effective since 2009, he said.
“The issue of stress and strain is being addressed by the commanders in a comprehensive manner at various levels. Sessions for stress management are organised by commanders and psychiatrists at all major stations,” the minister noted.
Specific measures include sensitisation of commanders on the subject of addressing grievances through interactions, implementation of ‘buddy’ system, welfare measures like provision of adequate accommodation for married personnel, good schooling, recreation facilities.
He said personnel at high risk of combat stress are identified as vulnerable and counselled by unit commanding officers, regimental medical officers and junior leaders and any stress marker, warning signs of stress are looked for and motivational talk is rendered to all.