Features of Psychological Preparation of the Personnel of the Security Forces in the Conditions of Epidemic Spread (COVID 19)

Author`s Contribution:

Stadnik A. V. 1 A
Vashchenko I. V. 1 A
A — Study design;
B — Data collection;
C — Statistical analysis;
D — Data interpretation;
E — Manuscript preparation;
F — Literature search;
G — Funds collection;
  • Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, Ukraine
Background and aim of study:
The COVID 19 epidemic is gaining momentum in Ukraine today. Every military-man of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) is under a double psychological burden due to both participations in the joint forces operation and the spread of coronavirus infection among his entourage, relatives, and friends. Therefore, the problem of improving the psychological training of military-men of AFU and other security forces is quite relevant today. Proper psychological training of each soldier significantly increases the combat effectiveness of the entire military unit, can significantly reduce the number of casualties, as well as reduce the risk of psychological disorders. A well-trained soldier overcomes all the difficulties of military service with dignity and defends the Motherland.
According to research by modern military psychologists, psychological training of military-men is a system of measures aimed at forming their psychological resilience, emotional and volitional qualities that allow to harden the will, learn to fight fear, endure physical and psychological stress, acquire survival skills in extreme conditions. Depending on the target settings and the degree of coverage of personnel, there are general, special and targeted psychological training. General psychological training is designed to form and improve the same psychological qualities for all military-men. It is based on the formation and development of political consciousness, patriotism, skills and abilities of volitional self-regulation and stress resistance, physical qualities. In our opinion, the measures of general psychological training carried out during the training meeting should include the following measures: bringing to subordinates official information about the state of the spread of the disease in the state, the area of the unit; proof of information on measures taken by the commander and the medical service to prevent the spread of infection; prevention of dissemination of unverified information (rumors) by personnel. In addition, military psychologists should monitor the dynamics of military-men behavior at this time; identify persons who show signs of abrupt changes in behavior, attitudes, communication and take measures to prevent biases of personnel towards persons who have signs of illness (sick or relapsed to COVID 19). Special psychological training is aimed at psychological training in the field of military activity. It should be carried out during field trips (exercises) in conditions as close as possible to combat, in order to develop the military’s professional attention, memory, ability to withstand stressors. In our opinion, measures of special psychological training should include: conducting classes with platoon (department) commanders to identify signs of the spread of negative mental states of military-men, due to COVID 19; training of military-men in psychological methods of self-regulation, positive motivation; training of personnel in psychological methods of prevention and neutralization of panic manifestations in units. Targeted psychological training is aimed at preparing a person to perform a specific task, mostly a separate one. In the context of the COVID 19 pandemic, it includes the formation of motivation of the individual to comply with sanitary and hygienic requirements, the task of psychological attitude to the implementation of health procedures; psychological correction and rehabilitation. Measures of targeted psychological training conducted by a military psychologist at this time should include: conducting individual psychological counseling of military-men; identification of persons with signs of mental disorders due to COVID 19; psychological support of military-men who have signs of deteriorating psychological state and those who have signs of being in a crisis psycho-emotional state.
Thus, the growing role of psychological factors acting today on military-men of AFU and other security forces, requires a qualitative increase in the psychological training of personnel of various categories of military-men. This will ensure a stable psychological readiness of military-men to defend the Motherland and decisive action in the performance of combat missions, to form mental resilience to the traumatic factors of today.
DOI and UDC:
UDC: 159.922.27:316.33 DOI: 10.26697/ijes.2020.4.21
Information about the authors:
Stadnik Anatoliy Volodymyrovych – Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the Department of Military Training, Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, Kharkiv, Ukraine. Research interests: tactical medicine, psychology, education; https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1472-4224 Vashchenko Ihor Vladyslavovych – Doctor of Philosophy in History, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the Department of Military Training, Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, Kharkiv, Ukraine. Research interests: psychology, pedagogy, military education; https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1444-7538