June 20, 2024

Recognizing mental health is crucial as physical health in law enforcement, the Baguio City Police Office is implementing Project Psychosocial Awareness, Learning and Collaborative Support (PALS) which is based on the Philippine National Police Mental Health Program “Bantay Kaisipan”.

Project PALS aims to enhance the mental health and overall well-being of police officers by promoting psychosocial awareness, providing continuous education, and fostering collaborative support systems.

This initiative also supports the preventive aspects of the PNP internal disciplinary mechanisms.

As the proponent of the project, BCPO City Director, Col. Francisco B. Bulwayan, Jr., underscored the importance of the project to police work.

“Project PALS represents a significant step forward in prioritizing the mental health of our personnel. By providing them with the tools and support they need, we are not only improving their well-being but also enhancing their ability to serve our community effectively,” he said.

With the BCPO City Medical and Dental Team (CMDT) leading the project, they are responsible to conduct psychoeducation, stress and anger management, counseling, psychological first aid, referral through the use of NP Algorithm, recommendation for possible adjustment of personnel treatment, and routine follow-up for personnel who need psychological support.

Acknowledging the stigma attached to issues on mental health, CMDT Team Leader, Cpt. Nicomedes B. Valdez, Jr., encouraged everyone to openly address their mental health concerns, assuring them of confidentiality and support.

“Our office is always open for confidential conversations and support,” he said.

Since its launching on Jan. 15, a total of 495 BCPO personnel representing nearly 36 percent of the total force have participated in the program.

The CMDT envisions participation across the force, ensuring all personnel benefit from the program’s focus on stress reduction, burnout prevention, enhanced community relations, and the integration of psychosocial insights into policing methodologies.

Considering police officers frequently encounter emotionally taxing situations, Bulwayan has been advocating programs that promote mental health within its ranks, which include the Balik Alindog 2.0 and friendship games. – Press release