PDEA starts stress debriefing program for personnel
THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has begun holding regular stress debriefing programs for its personnel to help them cope with the daily rigors of their work in law enforcement.
PDEA Director General Arturo Cacdac Jr. noted that the demands of working for the PDEA might affect their personnel’s efficiency and effectiveness in performing their jobs.
Since 2013, 330 PDEA personnel have undergone regular psychological intervention programs to address the unseen effects brought by their work.
The PDEA, aside from carrying out its mandate to combat illegal drugs, does not neglect the welfare and wellbeing of its personnel, who carry with them the pressure of being lawmen, according to Cacdac.
“Like any other personnel of law enforcement agencies, PDEA personnel are vulnerable to all kinds of stresses, pressures and situations where their intelligence, personalities, attitude, temperament, trainings and other capabilities are immensely challenged,” the PDEA director general pointed out.
These sessions are available to tactical officers, drug enforcement officers, agent-trainees, preventive education and community involvement officers, information officers and prison guards.
The stress debriefing and management seminars are facilitated and carried out by the PDEA Academy.
The seminars include: an annual neuro-psychological evaluation to help PDEA personnel be aware of the causes and degree of stress in their lives; stress and anger management to manage negative emotions; pastoral, family and marriage counselling; wellness and recreational programs to promote good physical and mental health; psychological therapy on how to react to tensions in a smarter way; and critical incident stress debriefing, a psychological first aid against traumatic conditions following the loss of loved ones.
Cacdac added that the agency has extended the stress debriefing seminars to personnel in their Eastern Visayas regional offices in the aftermath of the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda, which left thousands dead.
“This is part of our efforts to promote the physical and psychological well-being of our personnel while performing their sworn duties and fulfilling their personal, moral and social obligations,” he said.
Last February, 70 personnel from the PDEA regional office in Northern Mindanao participated in a recent stress debriefing session in Cagayan de Oro City. SFM/AC
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