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09.03.2005 Regional News

Security personnel asked not to use alcohol and drugs to manage stress

By GNA

Accra, March 9, GNA - A Clinical Psychologist, on Wednesday advised security personnel to desist from excessive drinking of alcohol and narcotic drugs to manage stress.

Dr Erica Dickson of the 37 Military Hospital noted that the use of excessive alcohol and other stimulating substances was increasing. She was speaking at a day's seminar on "Stress Management and HIV/AIDS", for personnel of the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of the Ghana Police Service in Accra on Wednesday.

The participants were also taken through HIV/AIDS Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT).

Dr Dickson said stress was part of everyday life and referred to the US, where 75 per cent of the population are exposed to the health problem.

However, Ghana has not been able to take inventory of stress, which has become the causes of most diseases.

Dr Dickson asked the personnel to carry out physical exercises regularly, eat nutritious food and relax after work. She mentioned some of the diseases associated with stress as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, headaches, cancer, mental health problems and body aches. Dr Dickson urged the personnel to seek regular counselling, should not over burden themselves with work avoid extra martial affairs and manage their time properly.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mrs Sophia Amofa Torpey, Greater Accra Regional Commanding Officer, WAJU, said personnel of the Unit undergo stress when dealing with victims of abuse, hence the need for the training programme.

Mrs Torpey said the victims also looked forward to the personnel of WAJU for encouragement.

Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mr Michael Vieira, a Programme Officer, Ghana AIDS Control Programme, noted most people know about the HIV/AIDS pandemic but expressed regret that they do not want to change their behaviour, which often contribute to the spread of the virus. He urged the participants to patronise the VCT in order to know their HIV/AIDS status.

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