Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the Ministry will consider incorporating psychological preparedness and training in the counselling of victims and witnesses of traumatic events in its community emergency preparedness exercises.
- MHA has been looking into the psychological preparedness of the community, such as in the aftermath of a terror attack.
- In 2017, we launched the Human Emergency Assistance Response Team or HEART Team. Each HEART Team comprises psychologists and community mental health practitioners from MHA, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), and the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).
- MHA and the HEART Teams have been working closely with People’s Association (PA) to incorporate psychological preparedness as part of our community emergency preparedness. We have been training grassroots leaders and community responders from the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) on psychological first aid, through the use of skills-based role-playing.
- A total of 1,116 community responders from all the constituencies, as well as an additional 350 public service officers, have been trained in psychological first aid. Several HEART Team exercises have been held, as part of Community Crisis Response Exercises.