2007-12-22 05:59:56 Xinhua English
BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Public Security has set up a team of 13 psychologists to provide crisis intervention counseling to police who handle serious emergency or highly violent cases.
The ministry planned to provide all police nationwide with such service within two years, Saturday's Legal Daily reported.
The team planned to draft a manual to the local police authority on how to help individuals out of psycho-crisis after undergoing extreme conditions such as shooting criminals dead or witnessing colleagues killed, the Beijing-based newspaper quoted a ministry source.
They would also offer counseling to police in selected big cases.
The issue of how to keep police mentally healthy wasn't previously properly addressed due to insufficient professionals and a lack of attention from the authority. But some measures have been tried in the past few years.
As of last year, nine psychological centers have been set up at Chinese People's Public Security University, as well as in seven provinces and Shanghai municipality. To date, they have provided counseling for about 11,000 police.
Police authorities in three cities -- Shanghai, Dalian and Hangzhou -- have adopted crisis intervention counseling for their members who handle shooting and explosive cases or negotiate hostage rescue.
The ministry had also sent four psychologist groups to some 15 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities to counsel local police.
In 2006, the ministry issued a circular that required all local public security departments to incorporate psychological quality tests into their recruitment process.