September 30, 2023

BANGUED, Abra – The Provincial Department of Health Office provided psychosocial and mental health support to residents affected by the July 27 earthquake in Barangay San Antonio, one of the hardest hit areas in this capital town.

Dr. Lilibeth Martin of PDOHO-Abra said the affected families, especially those who were displaced, need psychosocial support to help address depression, trauma, and emotional problem as aftershocks are still being felt.

“Aside from food and non-food items, Abreños are in dire need of comfort to cope with the challenges brought by the earthquake,” Martin said.

Kailangan ito ng mga kababayan natin dito sa Abra dahil marami pang mga pamilya especially mga bata ang natatakot, so pinuntahan natin sila dito to interact with them and provide them mental health support,” she said.

Fifty-four children, six adolescents, and 34 adults underwent stress debriefing during the outreach held at the barangay evacuation center.

Martin said the team held various interactions, focus group discussions, and games and distributed coloring materials, food packs, and various medicines to the families.

“In these times of calamities, we also need to establish a child-friendly space to redirect the attentions of the children,” she added.

Psychosocial support teams from other regions were also deployed in various evacuation centers to assist the victims.

Since the earthquake that rocked Northern Luzon, many families are still temporarily housed at evacuation centers awaiting the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council if they could go back to their respective homes. – Christian Allister Tubadeza