March 28, 2023

Suicide is preventable and everyone can help, Dr. Gwendolyn Cayad of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Psychiatry Department stressed in a media forum on World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.
Cayad said that suicide prevention along with other psychological and mental health concerns remain a challenge for the health sector and stress, depression, and uncertainties due to the Covid-19 pandemic add up the problem.
She said that thoughts or attempting suicide does not happen overnight; it is the end stage and a final pathway of series of stressful life events when a person gets overwhelmed by helplessness and thoughts that there is no other solution.
Common factors for a person’s vulnerabilities to attempt or commit suicide are stress, depression, and mental illness, which is preventable through psychiatric intervention or medication.  
At the household or community, she said everyone can do something to help prevent a person to have suicidal thoughts or to ease his stress or depression.
“Whenever you hear a person joking or saying that he or she wants to commit suicide or if you feel that a person is burdened by stress or depression and becomes suddenly silent and mostly alone, do not take it lightly and ask the person to talk about it,” Cayad said.
By merely listening and showing you care may defer or eliminate a person’s thought of committing suicide, she added.
Cayad reported that the BGHMC catered to 103 suicide attempts from January to August this year.
The BGHMC Psychiatry Mental Health Support Services provides online consultations and due to limited available manpower and resources, the services are currently limited to Baguio City and La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay.
 Online consultation hours are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday. Based on the assessment of the psychiatrist on duty, emergency consultations can be done beyond the consultation hours.
They can be reached through their Facebook page, BGHMC Psychiatry Mental Health Support Services and hotline 0956-006-9808 and 0951-599-8778.
The World Suicide Prevention Day is observed every Sept. 10. It was initiated by the International Association of Suicide Prevention to increase awareness that suicide is preventable. – Carlito C. Dar