July 23, 2024

Help is available.

The Department of Health-Cordillera has reiterated there are groups and institutions accessible to provide help to people suffering from mental health concerns.

The call was made as cases of people suffering from mental illnesses are increasing and remain a concern.

Data from the DOH-Cordillera showed the region had 836 mental-related diseases from 2018 to 2022, of which 713 cases were recorded from 2020 to 2022 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The five-year data also showed 478 mental disorder-related deaths, of which 354 cases occurred during the pandemic.

Mental illnesses are classified into various forms such as depression, anxiety disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, bipolar disorders, psychosis, and schizophrenia, among other diseases.

Health experts are intensifying the awareness campaigns on the presence of facilities in various parts of the region where people with mental health concerns can seek help.

DOH-Cordillera Medical Officer IV Jennifer Joyce Pira said the DOH’s program on mental health is focused on preventing diseases and deaths caused by problems on mental health.

The DOH has trained personnel at the rural health units (RHUs) and DOH-retained hospitals in the provinces on how to provide first aid on mental or psychosocial health.

“Our aim is to capacitate all RHUs to have personnel who can give immediate mental health services to constituents, especially to prevent cases of people who are taking their own lives,” she said.

In the DOH five-year data of mental health-related deaths, 309 were due to suicide.

Pira added maintaining a sound mental health is as important as being physically healthy, which is why the DOH is intensifying its efforts to make mental health services accessible.

“We need to take care of our mental health because if this is not intact, we cannot function properly in society. This is why we encourage those with mental health illnesses to seek help from the facilities and programs thatare providing support and services for them,” she said.

Pira said the DOH intends to make all RHUs and provincial hospitals in the region become mental health access sites where clients will no longer travel far from their homes to access mental health services.

She said those who are suffering from mental health concerns are not alone, as there are people who are willing to listen and help them.

“There are available facilities where you can seek help. Hindi kayo nag-iisa,” she said.

People with mental health concerns may get in touch with the various helplines, such as the DOH-Cordillera at 0938-757-6458, Baguio City Health Services Office Mental Health and Welfare Office at 0919-069-6361, and Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Psychiatric Department at (074) 661-7910 or 0910-207-0736.

The other hotlines are that of the National Center of Mental Health at 0917-899-8727, 0966-351-4518, or 0908-639-2672 and Philippine Mental Health Association at 0995-093-2679 or 0918-402-9832.

In Baguio, one of the private institutions that offer services on suicide prevention is the Psychstart Psychological, Academic, and Art Services located at the Baguio-Benguet Community Credit Cooperative.

The facility also offers free consultation, by schedule and can be reached at 0947-356-2468 or 0945-311-4028. – Jane B. Cadalig