Chennai, July 14 (BPNS)
Tamil Nadu home department has sanctioned an amount of Rs 50 lakh for the wellness programme ‘Magizhi’ which mainly deals with the mental health issues of cops including personal issues, mental trauma, stress and alcohol-related issues.
Greater Chennai City Police Commissioner, Shankar Jiwal, is spearheading the project and has roped in top psychiatrists of the city to provide mental support to the policemen. The police commissioner has in association with M.S. Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation (MSCTRF) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences set up a health centre at Guru Nanak College at Velachery exclusively for police personnel.
According to the Greater Chennai City Police commissioner’s office, 400 cops have already been treated by top psychiatrists in the city. The policemen who were treated include those who have suffered from alcohol addiction, depression and other mental health issues were treated.
The wellness programme, ‘Magizhi’, according to officers in the city police commissioner’s office told BPNS that will be conducting wellness programmes for close to 1000 city policemen.
A senior doctor with the MSCTRF while speaking to BPNS said that most of the participants who have undertaken consultation were suffering from work-related stress. The main reason for this work-related stress, according to the psychiatrists attending the cops, is continuous job without breaks or leave. Psychiatrists of the MSCTRF said that the government had announced one day leave a week for each policeman after the suggestions they had given to higher police officers on the need to provide the cops with a break from their routine, at least once a week, which was accepted.
Dr Prabhakar who is involved in the programme told BPNS, “ After the policemen were given a weekly off, the stress level had come down and there was marked improvement in the mental health situation.”
Police personnel with serious mental illness were referred to the Kilpauk Government Medical College hospital while those with alcohol addiction issues were treated at TTK hospital.
The MSCTRF and the health centre at the Guru Nanak College regularly monitor the health situation of those cops who were discharged from Kilpauk Medical college hospital and TTK hospital. The Mental health centre of the Guru Nanak College also monitors regularly the health condition of those who were discharged.
The counsellors at the mental health centre regularly speak to the discharged cops and their families to monitor those who have recovered from the addiction. Two counselling sessions are conducted every month for those who have recovered from addiction and experts take classes for the cops who have recovered.