(MENAFN - Swissinfo)
Nowadays, being an army chaplain means listening and talking more than performing religious rites. Vbs/ddps
To support the troops, army chaplains are increasing the scope of their operations. To deal with the stress of the pandemic, they are now offering the army psychological help.
This content was published on February 16, 2021 - 09:00 February 16, 2021 - 09:00 Olivier Pauchard
Specialist in federal politics. Earlier worked at the Swiss national news agency and at Radio Fribourg.
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Last spring, the army mobilised its troops to support civilian authorities during the first wave of coronavirus pandemic. This was the first time since the Second World War that Swiss soldiers were deployed in this way. A new support mission - this time essentially made up of volunteers - is under way until the end of March to deal with the ongoing second wave.
The soldiers may not be carrying out complicated battle maneuvers but their new mission is not necessarily an easy one on a psychological level. In this context, the Army Chaplaincy has asked 35 chaplains to come on board. Currently five chaplains are available to those who need extra counselling.
"Imagine a young person who has to leave civilian life overnight ending up in a hospital having to care for the dying. For example, I recently met a 21-year-old soldier whose job was to prevent a patient from pulling out his medical tubes. It's psychologically exhausting," said Captain Stefan Junger, head of the Army Chaplaincy.
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