Stress among police personnel, who have to carry out the duty of protecting the citizens against many odds, is not generally given due attention.

A pilot project has been initiated by the Madurai District police and a non-governmental organisation, M.S.Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation, Madurai. Superintendent of Police V.Balakrishnan decided to organise the programme after finding that policemen in Madurai were suffering from stress-related ailments.

‘Training on Stress management for Personal Effectiveness for the Police Personnel of Madurai District’ was inaugurated on Saturday at the District Police Office.

Abhay Kumar Singh, Inspector General of Police (South Zone), said festivals helped the people de-stress, but the case of the policemen was different. They would be on duty, away from their families, providing protection to the public.

So it was decided to have stress relief measures aimed not only at the police personnel but also their family members.

In the first batch, 35 policemen and their families were chosen for the five weekend training programme — Saturdays earmarked for the policemen and Sundays for their families.

The DGP had said depending on the response, the programme would be extended to other districts, added the SP.

According to psychiatrist C.Ramasubramanian, stress was a major factor that drove police personnel to commit suicide or develop major ailments like diabetes and hypertension. “The policeman’s job is listed as one among the five most stressful jobs.”

S.Rajaram, psycho-social consultant from Bangalore, has been roped in to train the policemen and their families. The first session was handled by him on Saturday.

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