KAMPALA- Kampala International University (KIU) Professor of Counseling and Psychology Edward Bantu has revealed that officers enforcing COVID-19 security directives are most likely to meet resistance and violent reactions from the public which could cause them mental illness.
According to Professor Bantu, some of the officers are already in a state of mental instability due to already existing problems such as stress, fear of the pandemic, stress from relatives and families among others.
“Judging by the Bantibaguma Information Motivation and Behavioral Change Model, individuals who lack correct information can be motivated by providing right information directed to Behavioral change, and by appealing to their faulty cognition,” he shared.
Prof Bantu revealed that officers are at a higher risk given the contagious nature of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The law enforcement culture of the officers being bravely committed combined with their hard personality to occupational demands may lead to mental breakdown,” Prof Bantu said.
He added that, “The police force will have to implement the Bantubaguma Information Motivation and Behavioral Change Model team of experts who will have to perform by strategic, practical, and tactical to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to Prof Bantu, mental wellness plays a critical role in the overall well-being of officers, significantly affecting both productivity and performance.
“Therefore different strategies may need to be employed to help cope with occupational pressure,” said Prof Bantu.
He further recommended that the methods that should be adopted to reduce the stigma on mental health issues should include strategies to encourage officers to come forward to seek help when necessary.