Hike in Baguio suicide cases alarming

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Local mental experts raised concern over the drastic increase in the number of suicide cases in the city during the first quarter of the year because of the serious negative impact of the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to the mental health of people.

Ricky Ducas, mental health responder of the City Health Services Office, disclosed that for the first quarter of this year, there were already 11 suicide incidents that were documented by the said office which is more than double than the 5 suicide incidents that were recorded by the local government during the same period last year.

He added that for 2020, there were some 30 suicide incidents that were documented by the city 25 of whom were males and 5 females.

Ducas urged individuals who notice strange behavior among their family members, relatives, and friends to immediately seek the assistance of mental health experts to prevent the situation from worsening that could result to drastic actions the subjects may take.

The CHSO mental health responder claimed mental health experts are providing free psychological, neurological and psychiatric consultation to individuals who seek their help for appropriate guidance to recover from the current situation they are experiencing.

Further, he stipulated that for those who have been diagnosed, CHSO mental health responders have provided individuals with free medicines in coordination with private individuals who are helping in the advocacy to effectively and efficiently address mental health issues and concerns being confronted by people who had been heavily impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to him, it would be best for people encountering early signs of mental health problems to seek the assistance of experts so that they will be given the appropriate guidance and medication to help them recover from the situation they are currently facing.

Ducas pointed out that this COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of individuals because of the tremendous effect of the same to the economic aspect of their lives.

Aside from biological factors, trauma, among others, he cited that one of the major factors that triggered the drastic increase in the number of individuals encountering mental health issues is the impact of the pandemic to the overall economy not only in the city but also in the whole world.

The mental health responder explained that anxiety and depression are already initial indications of mental health issues and it is still best for people to immediately seek the guidance of experts who provide the interventions that can prevent their situation from worsening that may lead to loss of lives. By Dexter A. See

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