NEWS

‘Psychologists are there for peacekeepers’

All Republic of Fiji Military Forces personnel that served on international peacekeeping duties have gone through some sort of professional psychological assessment. This was confirmed by the Minister for Defence,
25 May 2017 11:00
‘Psychologists are there for peacekeepers’
Minister for Defence, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola at Parliament. Photo: FILE

All Republic of Fiji Military Forces personnel that served on international peacekeeping duties have gone through some sort of professional psychological assessment.

This was confirmed by the Minister for Defence, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, in Parliament yesterday.

This is after Opposition MPs questioned the type of counselling made available to military people upon returning from international peace keeping duties.

Ratu Inoke said the RFMF trained their soldiers during basic recruitment and pre-deployment to recognise the sign and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

He said in the peacekeeping mission areas they were usually accompanied by the Methodist Church minister for counselling matters.

Ratu Inoke said the RFMF had a number of soldiers within its ranks that were qualified psychologists with qualifications from the Pacific Theological College in Nasese.

In some areas, he said it was mandatory that the personnel returned for counselling.

SODELPA Opposition leader, Ro Teimumu asked if the families of the personnel also underwent some sort of counselling.

In response, Ratu Inoke told Parliament that he had been informed that their families were also counselled.

SODELPA Opposition MP, Viliame Gavoka said the troops were exposed to some horrific events that could have a long term impact on their lives.

Ratu Inoke in response said there are psychologists within the military that handled the issue.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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