THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Alarmed by the burgeoning number of suicide among cops and the custodial torture cases they have been accused of, the Police Department has started imparting ‘mindfulness’ training to its personnel. Mindfulness is a practice of combating stress by being rooted to the present, experiencing things to its fullness and overcoming stress and emotional outburst.
As per the data with the police, more than 50 cops have committed suicide in the last six years. There has also been a worrying increase in the cases of custodial torture and lock-up murders that have brought a bad name to the force. Mental stress and depression were found to have played a major role in the above-mentioned issues.
It was to counter these ills that the department, earlier this year, joined hands with the Holistic and Psychosomatic Clinic of the Department of Psychiatry, Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital (MCH). With the assistance of trained psychiatrists from the MCH, the police have prepared a training module which is being taught to trainees of the Police Training College in Thiruvananthapuram. The module includes meditation, breathing techniques, body movements, awareness of emotions and thoughts and mental imagery.
Dr Krishnan S, who trained the master trainers of police, said the practise has been around for the last 50 years. “This is one such stress-management strategy that is supported by science. For cops, the system can help fight depression, stress and anxiety. It can also enhance immunity and resilience.”In the Police Training College (PTC), 30 officers were given training to raise them to the stature of master trainers, who have now imparted training to more than 100 officers, the latest being 25 officers, who are attending pre-promotion course for the post of DySP.
Shibu S, an Inspector of the Training Team at PTC, said the feedback received from the trainees was good. “Since the cops are facing unforeseen circumstances, they easily fall pray to stress,” he said.
“I have practised several methods to bust stress. But mindfulness works best for me,” he said. Owing to the good review, about 150 women officers will be provided training in the coming week.