Local mental health experts raised concern over the increase in the number of suicide cases in the city for the year 2021 attributed to the ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic and majority of those who committed suicide were males.
City Health Services Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said their mental health program recorded a total of 37 suicide incidents involving 32 males and 5 females. Ages ranged from 10 to 70 and above years.
Nurse I Ricky Ducas, mental health responder and coordinator of the program said the 2021 number represents a 23 percent increase from that of 2020 when the city listed a total of 30 cases. In 2019, there were 27 cases recorded.
Ducas said young adults are among the most vulnerable to suicide as their developmental milestones on love and belonging are rooted on their peers and the community.
There was also a noted increase in patients who sought professional help as compared in the previous year because people now tend to be more open about their mental health issues especially the youth but the challenge remains to be that their parents and elders tend to discount the mental health problems.
To help address the problem, the city’s mental health program will step up its service to provide free assistance to individuals seeking consultations, basic medications and other interventions. This is on top of the health and wellness program information-education-communication (IEC) strategies regularly conducted for the public.
As part of the strategies on the early detection of mental disorders among individuals, the CHSO made available a helpline that could be immediately contacted by people suffering from mental disorders open from 8am to 5pm: 09190696361.
(Source: PIO Baguio)