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Stress debriefing boosted for soldiers vs Abu Sayyaf.

Soldiers who are at the forefront of the government's relentless combat operations against the terrorist Abu Sayyaf (ASG) in Sulu are undergoing constant combat stress debriefing in order to cope with psychological rigors of their job.

Reports from Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) in Camp Bautista said three Army companies from different battalions have undergone the combat fatigue and battle stress debriefing being conducted by a steady flow of medical teams coming from the AFP Medical Center.

This is the third week of debriefing with medical teams composed of health professionals from various specializations, most of whom came from the Psychological Health Department of the AFP hospital. Priests from the Chaplain Service were also part of the teams.

The JTFS said two teams from AFP medical center have so far completed the three-week process and are set to be replaced by another team from Manila.

The debriefing is a mechanism to ensure the psychological health, morale and welfare of troops involved in highly dangerous combat operations. Such type of stress was first observed on American troops during the Vietnam War by medical personnel and was found out to be a type of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

The debriefing aims to address possible cases of PTSD among troops, a sickness that is beyond superficial wounds common among soldiers, policemen and other law enforcers who have been to combat zones or some life threatening situations.

'Combat stress debriefing is part of the program of the AFP to take care of the health and welfare of troops involved in combat,' Brig. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, JTFS commander said.

De la Vega said the debriefing provides a continuing healthcare program to soldiers from the moment officers and troops get commissioned or enlisted until they retire from the service.

'They are provided to our soldiers in view of their perilous mission. This is to address any possible problem or stress that may affect the performance; and medical and psychological health of soldiers assigned in combat zone,' he added.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Oct 5, 2016
Words:383
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