Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Eleazar ordered Chiefs of Police (COP) to focus on their personnel who have mental health concerns.
According to Eleazar, station commanders should monitor the behavior and actions of their police officers who are dealing with mental, emotional, and physical stress.
He said the work that the police go through is not a joke so sometimes they make bad decisions.
In the event that the police behave strangely, it is better to take immediate action and check them to prevent aggravation.
Eleazar is also concerned about the failed suicide of a police trainee of the Maritime Group from Rosario Cavite who was found wounded on the rooftop of his boarding house. He was rushed to Divine Grace Hospital and is currently recovering.
It was learned that the said police trainee who survived the alleged self-immolation was already suffering from depression.
According to Eleazar, this is the importance of his proposal to subject all police officers to regular neuro-psychiatric tests and psychological counseling to determine if they are eligible to remain with the PNP.
“This kind of test will greatly help in preventing personnel from inflicting harm on themselves or on other people,” added Eleazar.
Eleazar to police chiefs: Focus on cops with mental health concerns
Meanwhile, Dr. Maria Bernadette Manalo, a member of the Philippine Psychiatric Association, said it is important for the police to have regular and continuous psychiatric monitoring, especially since their mental health should be guided.
“I would really recommend monitoring them as well. Because, you know, it’s hard when you’re on the road, you’re outside, you’ve encountered a lot of traumatic incidents,” said Manalo.
She also said that it would not work to conduct psychiatric assessments only once a year.
“Kailangan talaga every 3 to 6 months,” she said.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said that their health services are limited.
But according to Eleazar, they will study the recommendation, especially now that psychiatric assessment is limited to recruitment and when applying for promotion.