Mental health also important during pandemic: health officials
Mental health should also be discussed and be part of the government’s interventions during the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, local health officials said Saturday.
Dr. Lorraine Nery, City Health Office chief, said the city government also provides psychosocial services for residents who need the intervention, especially Covid-19 patients and suspected cases, including their families.
“Mental health and psychosocial intervention is very important in this world health crisis as Covid-19 consistently affects individuals longer and longer since it started last December in Wuhan, China,” Nery said.
From March 1 to May 1, the City Social Welfare and Development recorded seven suicide cases, although Nery was quick to add that these cannot be concluded as related to the pandemic.
Nery said these cases are likely caused by depression.
Dr. Ian Gonzales, a medical officer at the Department of Health in Region 10 (DOH-10), said the agency has already initiated its own mental health intervention dubbed as “DoH Normin Kumusta Ka”–a hotline for people who are in distressful situations brought about by the pandemic.
Gonzales said the hotline is operated by the mental health cluster of the local Covid-19 inter-agency task force, led by non-communicable diseases cluster head, Dr. Tristan Jediah Labitad.
In a phone interview on Friday, Labitad said the hotline has already received over 3,000 calls from distressed persons living in the region’s five provinces.
Labitad said they started receiving calls, texts, and social media consultations since March 25.
Other than mental health concerns, he said they also received complaints related to government assistance.
DOH-10’s “Kumusta Ka” hotlines are the following: 09973590888, 09650556777, and 09658356888.—/ (PNA)