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New Campaign “Shoulder to Shoulder” Launched at MoD

Friday, October 9
Under the initiative of Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli, the MoD continues to work hard on suicide prevention in the Army. Regarding this, a special informational brochure was prepared which encourages sergeants and officers to find out the problem and set proper communication examples with any soldiers who need assistance.

Deputy Defence Minister Ana Dolidze held meetings with psychologists, psychiatrists and NGOs to work on the psycho rehabilitation issues and introduced them to a new campaign branded “Shoulder to Shoulder”. As Ana Doldize stated, the purpose of the MoD is to take care of psychological conditions of each soldier and timely find out any problem in this regard. She emphasized the necessity and importance of the campaign: “The Defence Ministry of Georgia launched a psychological supportive program that we have dubbed “Shoulder to Shoulder”. The campaign aims to support our military, render our soldiers timely assistance to make sure that no soldier suffers alone. Therefore, we are holding regular meetings with psychologists of our country to introduce them to the program, as well as discuss steps we are going to take in this regard and then share their recommendations and opinions. We have to create all leverages, a system on the ground to have a high-level of psychological morale in the army”.

At the meeting, the sides discussed the “Shoulder to Shoulder” project in details. Future cooperation plans were set up. The guests shared their recommendations and opinions to the MoD officials.

Within the scope of the new project, Ana Dolidze also met with the heads of Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi clinics which work with psycho-rehabilitation. “We held a very productive meeting with the representatives of the clinics and planned to cooperate with them in the future. We draw great attention to launch open talks about psychological issues. We should improve a very effective program in the MoD according to which the problem caused by combat or other kind of stress will be revealed timely, and any soldier will be rendered all necessary assistance,” stated Ana Dolidze.

Within the campaign “Shoulder to Shoulder”, a call centre was also established. Special seminars for commanders and sergeants are also planned to be held in order to improve the skills necessary for suicide prevention.