CDO bats for whole-of-society approach on mental health crisis

The local government said Friday it is pushing for a whole-of-society approach in addressing mental health issues and suicide prevention. In a statement, Mayor Rolando Uy said part of the plan is to establish “mental health corners” in villages and train teachers in public schools on early detection and response. ‘I have instructed the Local School Board and the Liga ng mga Barangay to coordinate with the CSWD (City Social Welfare and Development) in promoting mental health and preventing suicides,’ he said. Dr. Jayme Leonen-Pagaspas, CSWD Psychosocial Division head psychologist, said the number of suicides in the city is an indicator that depression is an ailment that needs better understanding. Early detection Depression is one of the most disabling diseases worldwide, Pagaspas said, adding that it is important to acknowledge that it is “a social plague” that entails the cooperation of all members of society. Pagaspas said they are working to have personnel trained on giving first aid for those detected with depression and those exposed to traumatic experiences, like loss of loved ones and calamities. The CSWD has already launched a mental helpline that is expected to operate 24/7. The department is training more professionals for the hotline, which can be reached by calling 911 and 0970-0392709. Leonen also appealed to the media to be mindful and sensitive in reporting suicide and tackling mental health issues. Meanwhile, artist and event organizer Rhyan Casiño has gathered other members of their religious organization to pray over the city’s Marcos bridge. Casiño noted that teenagers have committed or attempted suicide by jumping off the bridge, which leads to Cagayan River. “Just this month of May, more than five teenagers have attempted or have committed suicide on Marcos bridge. We declare in the mighty name of Jesus that this spirit of depression will cease to take hold of our young people or mentally depressed individuals,” he said. Following such reports, Uy ordered the City Engineers Office to coordinate with the Department of Public Works and Highways to begin installing barriers to prevent people from jumping off bridges in the city.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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