Need for psychological preparedness against terror threats

In recent years, terrorist attacks have been occurring in places close to home. This creates fear that one day, something will happen in Singapore.

Our citizens have experienced only peace and security. Therefore, the question arises as to whether Singaporeans will be able to bounce back from such an attack with resilience and unity ("After the terror, winning the psychological war"; Oct 8).

The psychological impact of an attack may be neglected, as it is not as obvious as physical injuries.

Nonetheless, the effects may be more long-lasting and could interfere with the day-to-day functioning of affected individuals, including their interactions with others.

The threat is very real, and more can be done to increase our sense of empowerment, which can help to counter feelings of helplessness, anger and anxiety.

We need to be reminded to not become complacent or take our security for granted.

More public education, community campaigns and school interventions can raise such awareness and increase preparedness.

We can learn to recognise the symptoms and emotions that appear and help one another resolve the problems that arise.

If we are trained to deal with unpredictable events, we will not be as fearful as we would be if we are unprepared.

Terrorists want to tear society apart by causing us to mistrust the people close to us, take away our loved ones and break the bonds we have as a community.

It is critical that we do not allow them to do so. We must live a normal life, treating one another with respect and kindness before and after an attack.

Amanda Loh Si Ying (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2016, with the headline 'Need for psychological preparedness against terror threats'. Print Edition | Subscribe