BENGALURU: The state police will be the first in the country to put mechanisms in place to ensure the psychological well-being of its officers of all ranks. The recent spate of suicides among police has given it enough reasons to take such measures.
The proposal to create a unit of counsellors in the Karnataka State Police Force is pending with the state government and is under active consideration. The funds required may not be more than `5 crore to `6 crore, Om Prakash, Director General and Inspector General of Police told Express, “We have proposed to create positions for around 75 counsellors and 25 senior counsellors and one director-level position. There will be approximately one counsellor for every 1,000 policemen,” he said. Though the actual strength of state police is 73,746, sanctioned posts is 1,07,053.
“For each unit we are planning to have one counsellor. For instance, the district police is one unit. Commandants of the batallion is another unit. Likewise, there are special units too. Every commissionerate, every DCP will be considered as one unit. That is the way we have done the calculation,” he added.
“We had a meeting with authorities of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) and they have agreed to provide three months internship to those selected. Renowned psychologist late Dr Ashok Pai along with representatives of other government hospitals and NGOs were present in the first meeting,” he said.
On their part, NIMHANS officials said that they were waiting for the go-ahead from the police. “We haven’t discussed the terms with the police yet. We have offered our help. We had a long meeting with the police department two months back. Dr M P Sharma, a psychology professor, was heading the talks,” said Dr B N Gangadhar, director, NIMHANS.
As per records of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), 39 cops ended their lives in Karnataka between 2012 and 2014. Karnataka recorded 17, 15 and seven police suicides in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. In a MHA report, mental illness, stress and depression were listed as one of the reasons for suicides among cops.