From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 4): Troops involved in ASG campaign undergoing stress debriefing
Troops,conducting focused military operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists in Sulu, are continuously undergoing combat stress debriefing to cope with psychological rigors of their job.
Joint Task Force Sulu spokesperson Col. Rodrigo Gregorio in a statement Tuesday, said as of this posting, three companies from different battalions have so far undergone the combat stress debriefing being conducted by a steady flow of medical teams coming from the AFP Medical Center.
Gregorio said stress debriefing is now on its third week, with teams composed of health professionals with psychological specializations, helping in the campaign.
A priest from the AFP Chaplain Service is also helping, he also said.
Two teams from the AFP medical center have so far completed the three-week process and are set to be replaced by another team from Manila.
The combat stress 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 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. The AFP provides a continuing healthcare program to our soldiers from the moment officers and troops get commissioned or enlisted until they retire from the service," Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brig. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega said.
Combat fatigue and battle stress debriefing 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 zones.