In its latest strive for improvements for the mental state of their soldiers, BSF have come up with an innovative way to fight depression and suicide among its soldiers. BSF(Border Security Force) amasses about 2.65 lakhs personnel. The jawans of the force are deployed for long stints at inhospitable and harsh climate areas along the Indo-Pak and Indo-Bangla borders, where they cannot keep their families for years together.
BSF Director General K K Sharma who also has the additional charge of Director General, NSG in his interview with PTI said he initiated the projects.
What does the move comprise of?
The plan is divided into two parts and is aimed to identify those troops who need help or counseling.
The force has also got prepared a 40-minute movie for its troops that chronicles their hard duties and challenges on the border and other internal security combat theaters. In addition to that:
- Wellness Quotient Assessment Test: the test contains questions through which the analysts can gauge the mental condition of the soldiers. The DG said, adding “it is a multipoint questionnaire which is being “linked” to the annual medical test of jawans and officers”.
- Mentor-Mentee: this project involves finding natural counselors in the Forces and thus train them in order to guide and help their fellow jawans.
“There are people who are natural counselors. We are identifying such troops in the force. Such personnel can be further groomed to act as counselors and experts who would identify a buddy in trouble, help him or her and seek the help of superiors to bring comfort to them,”
he said to PTI.
He also added that 95% of the soldiers in the Forces are healthy, it is the 5% who need help. According to records: while in 2014 there were 46 suicides in the BSF, these numbers reduced to 27 in 2015 and 24 in the last year.
Reason for Suicide and Depression amongst the soldiers
“There have been no operations related suicides in the last five years since I am here (in the BSF),”
It has been found that issues concerning marital life, family disputes, property disputes, education of children and similar subjects forced the personnel to take the extreme step and end their lives. It was found that the tension and stress which the victim had, was of domestic nature.
Such domestic issues forced the personnel to take the extreme step to end their lives.
In our country which bears the medal of third largest Defence in this world, it is high time that we start respecting our soldiers and their integrity. By introducing such measures we not only help our soldiers but we also develop their faith in the Authorities which seems to lack in them now.