Run programmes on stress management for police, say experts

Delhi Police need adequate stress management programmes to be able to deal with crisis situations, said experts. The current programmes are not consistent, they said.

 A policeman was caught throwing a brick at a woman motorist after a scuffle on Monday. This comes a day after a DTC driver was beaten to death by a youth in a road rage incident. There is an immediate need for stress management of motorists and policemen to check road rage incidents. 
“There is a need to come up with intensive de-stressing programmes for the police force. The courses should be run throughout the year consistently. The current sporadic programmes which are held for stress management are inadequate,” said Dr Uday K Sinha, clinical psychologist, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS).
The stress management needs to be well structured. The course needs to have detailed communicative materials on anger management. The government also needs to advertise such courses on both the print and electronic media, said Dr Sinha. 
“It also has to be ensured by the department running it that there is community participation.” The increasing level of work-related stress and the inability to deal with it is leading to such extreme form of behaviour, said experts.
“The easiest way to vent out frustration is being violent,” said Dr Sinha.The stress management programmes need to include sensitisation lessons which will help police personnel handle extreme situations. They lack the ability to empathise with the public with the lack of effective training programmes.
The long work hours of bus drivers, who are often blamed for rash driving, also needs to be reviewed immediately to check on the rising number of road rage incidents, said doctors. Motorists at fault often get away by blaming the drivers, said experts. “The administration needs to address the concerns of the drivers. We have patients who are DTC drivers and are in constant fear of losing their work because they are appointed on contract basis. Several do not want to take leave despite serving for long hours in fear. It becomes difficult to handle stress under such circumstances,” said  Dr Kushal Jain, consultant psychiatrist at Vidyasagar Institute for Mental Health, Neuro and Allied Sciences. The rising number of road rage incidents show that more people are failing to curb impulsive behaviour or aggression. “The stress level is so high that people are always on the edge. They are unable to regulate their behaviour when the need arises,” said Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health & Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Hospital.

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