There is no proposal to recruit psychiatrists. There is sufficient number of psychiatrists in the Army. Army has already taken several steps to cope with stress within its ranks. Some of the measures are:-
(i) 50 Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) from Army Medical Corps have been trained as counselors in Northern and Eastern Commands, where troops are engaged in counter insurgency operations.
(ii) Religious Teachers, JCOs of Army Education Corps and Regimental Medical Officers have been identified as ‘Psychological Health Mentors’ at unit level and their services are being utilized accordingly.
(iii) Training capsules on relaxation exercise including Yoga and Pranayam have been introduced.
(iv) Rotation of units and individuals is being implemented to minimize exposure to stress. This measure is an ongoing process.
(v) Leave policy has been liberalized permitting splitting of casual and annual leave.
(vi) All Chief Ministers have been requested to make the civil administration more responsive to the problems of serving soldiers and their families.
This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Baleshwar Yadav and Shri Asaduddin Owaisi in Lok Sabha.