By Adelaide Kari – EM TV News, Port Moresby
For the first time ever, PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) health workers have received training in primary mental health care.
Psychiatrists, Dr. Ambi and Dr. Hagali, who covered topics such as what mental illness is, the types of mental illnesses, and what causes them, led the workshop.
They also touched on anxiety, post traumatic disorders and had group discussions on strengthening mental health services in the PNGDF.
Captain Popat Samson said that the training was important, and that in his 30 years in the PNGDF he could finally understand why mental health care is important to soldiers.
Lt Colonel Peter Kaminiel, Director of the PNGDF Health Service, said that human resource is one of the most important things for any organisation.
He said PNGDF soldiers needed to have healthy minds to perform to their full ability.
Governor General, Grand Chief Sir Michael Ogio, who presented their certificates, congratulated them and thanked Dr. Ambi and Dr. Hagali for providing this vital training.
He also touched on the mental health policy from 2010, saying the policy envisioned minimising the number of people becoming ill from mental illness, and minimising the number of deaths caused by mental illness.
Sir Michael said training was important, especially when it comes to policy development regarding the transition and reintegration of ex-PNGDF personnel back into civilian society.