CEBU

Tell it to SunStar: Mental health drives

THE Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) through the Directorate for Health Service (DHS) stepped up its mental health campaigns through the conduct of the 1st Batch of In-Service Training for Psychometricians to better prepare the agency in the growing demand on psychological interventions for recruitment, personnel promotion and for Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL).

The campaign aims to promote professional development and skills enhancement among mental health professionals in the Jail Bureau.

Training participants were composed of 10 registered psychometricians from the national headquarters and Regions 1, Calabarzon, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11 and the National Capital Region.

The four-month training included testing of psychometrics, classroom discussions on rehabilitation and counseling psychology, immersion in jails and mental health institution and case conferences.

“The role of mental health professionals is very crucial in our profession because we are dealing with persons with very unique needs.” BJMP Chief Jail Director Allan Iral said.

Alongside the administration of neuro-psychological examinations for jail officers, the training also catered to mental health concerns and interests of PDL.

The BJMP’s Health Service Division chief for Mental Health and Behavioral Science and the current training program head, Dr. Irene Lim, commended the graduates for completing the program and further encouraged them to employ integrity in their psychological evaluation.

“Knowledge and skills can be learned, but integrity, positive attitude and good judgment should be innate to be an effective psychological evaluator,” Lim said.

After the in-service training, the 10 graduates are now officially deputized to administer neuro-psychological examinations to applicants and candidates for promotion within their respective regions.

At present, the BJMP has 21 functioning psychologists and two psychiatrists processing more than the quota of jail officer applicants and promotion of thousands of BJMP personnel.

“With the addition of psychometricians on the list of our mental health professionals, we are optimistic that the recruitment and promotional processing will be accommodated on time,” said Jail Senior Supt. Arthur Lorenzo, director for health service.

Director Iral praised the initiative of the DHS and the training facilitators in their commitment and efforts to improve their mental health services.

The training was in accordance with the Mental Health Program of the BJMP pursuant to Republic Act 11036, or the Mental Health Act of the Philippines.


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