PM: Stay United to Thwart Terrorism

Grassroots leaders and volunteers nationwide will undergo psychological first aid training to help residents affected by mental trauma after a terrorist attack, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday (19 March).

Psychologists and counsellors from the newly-formed Human Emergency Assistance and Response Teams will teach community responders how to identify and support those suffering from psychological trauma after an attack. These professionals come from the Home Team, Ministry of Social and Family Development and Institute of Mental Health.

Recent regional terror-related incidents show that the threat is serious, said PM Mr Lee, calling on Singaporeans to strengthen community bonds to minimise the consequences of an attack. Terrorists would aim to hurt people and divide Singaporeans, he said.

Hence, Singaporeans should get to know their neighbours and make friends with people from other races. 

“The stronger our kampong spirit, the less able the terrorists will be to break us,” said PM Mr Lee at Emergency Preparedness Day in his Teck Ghee ward, as part of the SGSecure outreach to neighbourhoods. 

He encouraged residents to acquire life-saving skills such as using automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which have been installed at 55 housing blocks in Teck Ghee. The Government aims to install one AED for every two blocks across Singapore.

Mr Lee also urged residents to download the updated SGSecure mobile application. The app now provide users with customised alerts on emergency incidents occurring in specific locations in Singapore – such as office buildings or residential blocks – by keying in the relevant postal codes.  The app will inform subscribers of any emergency situation near the specified location.

It will also send news alerts on terror incidents in specific regions that Singaporeans have key interests in, such as Southeast Asia, East Asia and Europe.

The Government has stepped up its outreach to raise awareness and prepare residents to respond effectively in the event of an attack, in light of the current high level of terror threat.

Community volunteers and Home Team officers have visited more than 50,000 households since the launch of the SGSecure movement last September. The authorities plan to engage schools and workplaces next. 

Source: “Overcoming trauma of terror attack” & “Stay united to thwart terror threat: PM Lee”, The Straits Times, 20 March 2017.

Copyright © 2017 Singapore Press Holdings. Reprinted with Permission. 

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