Australian smartphone app to be rolled out internationally to combat police stress

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-20 10:01:28|Editor: Zhou Xin
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MELBOURNE, July 20 (Xinhua) -- An initiative launched by Victoria Police to reduce the stress level of officers has been hailed a success and will be employed internationally, it was announced on Thursday.

The program, backed by Victoria Police and the police union, sees officers download a smartphone application where they rate their stress levels and are then guided through breathing exercises to assist.

It has been such a success in Victoria with 5,000 officers downloading the app that it will be rolled out across the rest of Australia and in New Zealand.

"It's so important that police are provided with tools and support to help them become survivors of what can be a long and challenging career," Wayne Gatt, secretary of the Police Association of Victoria, told Australian media on Thursday.

"It's been rewarding for both organizations to work so closely on a project that has made a difference to many of our members and their families."

As well as relaxation techniques, officers are also offered tips on their sleep and exercise habits.

Martin Pakula, Victoria's acting police minister, said that the app was one of many initiatives undertaken in Victoria to improve the welfare of police.

Techniques recommended by the app include walking slowly and focusing on each step, holding an ice cube and focusing on the sensation of eating.

"Policing can be a tough job and our members are often exposed to really confronting situations," Victoria Police spokeswoman Danielle Fleeton said.

"It encourages members to take responsibility for managing their own wellbeing while promoting early help-seeking and work-life balance."