BAGUIO CITY — Public Information Office organized a program entitled “Ugnayan: Healing the Soul” which served as a kick-off for the later activities for the Mental Health Awareness Week on October 4 at Multi-purpose Hall.
The Coordinator of the City Health Services Offices Mental Health and Wellness Unit Ricky Ducas Jr. talked about the different mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, and substance abuse.
“Sa mental health gap na ginawa ng World Health Organization, there are four being identified na mental health concern or mental illness. Number one is depression, second is anxiety, third is psychosis, and substance abuse,” Ducas stated.
He added that these illnesses have gaps since there is a lack of access with healthcare providers regarding these concerns. He also acknowledged that people often disregard seeking help since they don’t want to be labeled as “Katok” or a person that is out of reality.
According to Ducas there are red flags to watchout for a person who has early signs of depression, including the loss of interest, helplessness, hopelessness, and giving out their valuable possessions. He then highlighted that giving away possessions is hard to diagnose because this may serve as an act of kindness and charity but it can also be a symptom of mental illness.
Moreover, he emphasized the importance of having a safe space at home where people can express and talk about their issues. “Make your home a safe space for everyone. A safe place where they can easily ventilate their emotions”, Duclas stated.
To conclude his talk, he encouraged everyone to address mental health and suicide as a community effort that public must realize that they are not alone in their problems and that the struggles of others should be everybody’s concern.
Due to the increase of suicide cases during the past few days, Ducas called for a collaborative effort with an emphasis on the use of communication and time-checks in the prevention of mental illness and suicide. He hopes the involvement of the community in the betterment of these situations, where everyone is influenced to be compassionate residents of Baguio. By Kyle Marges, Adrian Mas, Justhine Plana, and Hershey Vallo