Suna East Sub County Police Commander Esau Ochorokodi attending Police mental wellness. Photo, Peter Ologi; KTMN

Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross Society initiated mental wellness targeting to create mental awareness among the police officers in the county.

Benson Onyango from CMMB said that the program aims at promoting mental support to the police to reduce the mental workload among the police.

“We are mainly here to start a special program that will promote mental support to the police due to the stress that they undergo at work,” said Onyango.

Onyango said that the police have been tasked to deal with complicated issues from the public, a situation that sometimes leaves them with no break for mental refreshment.

“One of the motivating factors behind the start of this special program is to help the police break the monotony of cases they handle which leads to stress,” he added.

He added that police have been left behind in terms of their mental wellness, while at the same time being tasked to handle societal problems like taking care of gender-based violence victims.

Mental wellness is therefore a necessity for police, especially the psycho-social support that will be targeting the police dealing with such traumatizing cases as road accidents.

According to Onyango, the program also aims at reviving the number of police stations with psycho-social counselling units for the police which have been dwindling of late.

“It is high time we take a moment to create a special place for police where they can also feel free to open up about their problems at home or at work,” Onyango said.

Suna East Sub County Police Commander Mr Esau Ochorokodi, who graced the occasion, noted that about 120 police officers have benefitted from the program.

Ochorokodi appreciated the intervention terming it a God-sent idea to help the police live stress-free while conducting their daily duties.

“As the sub-county police commander, I am glad that this idea has come at the right and will help to reduce the mental tension among the police, especially after traumatizing occurrences,” said Esau.

Jemima Amoit an officer from Oruba Police Station, a beneficiary of the program said that the program has enabled them to manage anger, especially after the challenges of the day at work.

“I want to admit that the program has greatly helped me to cope with the challenges at work which lead to build up of anger,” said Jemima.

Jemima who works under the gender docket at the station said that the program will also be key, especially after encountering the bad and ugly side of gender inequities at work.

According to Dr Irene who is the brain behind the program, the idea came after reading more cases of police shooting themselves or colleagues out of the stress they undergo.

For her, the vision is to end the depression among the police by ensuring that there exists a conducive environment.

“The police, just like other human beings have things that bother them but unfortunately lack who to speak to, hence the necessity to create counselling departments within the stations,” she said.

Irene’s aim is to see the program themed on taking care of police being implemented as one of the acts governing the operation of the police nationally.

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