On 1 February 2018, the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division of the Philippine Army in Bgy. Patag, Cagayan de Oro City presented a Plaque of Appreciation to the Center of Psychological Extension and Research Services (COPERS) “in grateful appreciation for the invaluable assistance and support… during the Marawi offensive operations… that significantly enhanced the capability of the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital in treating and saving the lives of the Battle Casualties.”
From June to October 2017, COPERS fielded nine deployments of a multidisciplinary Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Team to assist Camp Evangelista Station Hospital personnel in delivering psychological first aid, grief counseling, critical incident stress debriefings, and trauma assessment of soldiers medically evacuated from the Marawi theater.
“A total of 63 COPERS Affiliates composed of psychologists, psychometricians, counselors, and psychology alumni took part in the effort to provide support to the security sector,” Dr. Gail Tan Ilagan reported. Ilagan is the director of COPERS.
The deployments are part of COPERS’ Emergency MHPSS Response to the Marawi crisis.
“A total of 458 soldiers wounded in action were served,” Ilagan added.
COPERS has a long-standing engagement with the military establishment for mental health management of active duty troops. It has helped design the Combat Stress Management System adopted by the Philippine Army last September 2017.
Particularly for the recently concluded Marawi campaign, COPERS is spearheading the post-Marawi assessment of the 12,000 troops deployed in Marawi.
COPERS is also providing the Philippine Army advice on early interventions to prevent or manage emerging psychiatric and neurological issues of Marawi veterans.