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Family life advocates promote communication as tool for detecting depression

Family life advocates in Dumaguete City from the law enforcement, education, civil society, and religious sectors share their agency's role in maintaining the integrity and stability of families during a Kapihan sa PIA forum held Sept. 26, 2022 at Bethel Guest House, Dumaguete City. Speakers are (2nd from left to right): Faith Tabernacle Church Pastor Mianuel Bawiin, PEMS Orlando Gonzaga of the Dumaguete City Police, ERPAT Dumaguete President Peter Britanico, and DepEd-Dumaguete City Project Development Officer Sean Adrian Guardiano. PIA Negros Oriental Infocen Manager Jenny Tilos moderates the forum (extreme left). (KAT/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental, Oct. 10 (PIA) -- Family life advocates here promoted the importance of time management and communication in addressing major concerns affecting the stability of families such as depression.

This was highlighted in a recent Kapihan sa PIA forum attended by representatives of different groups advocating for family development and strengthening family relationships.

One of the reactors during the forum raised that depression is one of the serious issues confronting families today in view of rapid urbanization.

Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities (ERPAT) President Peter Britanico said that parents, despite being busy earning a living, must not forget to look after the mental well-being of their children and foster a healthy communication environment so they can detect any signs of depression among their kids.

“Even imo wife, kon wala tay time, wala tay communication sa (atong) pamilya, sa imo asawa, (ug mga) anak mangita na og lain kaadtuan (If you don’t have time, if you don’t communicate with your children and even your wife, they will turn to somebody else),” Britanico said.

He directed his message to the fathers, since ERPAT is an aggrupation of fathers who are capacitated to become models in the society.

Police Executive Master Sergeant  Orlando Gonzaga of the Dumaguete City Police also agreed to this, noting that people suffering from depression need someone to communicate with to unload their problems.

He also underscored the importance of maintaining a work and family life balance for parents so they can maximize their time with their family.

As part of their role in keeping the integrity of the family, Gonzaga said they have been visiting barangays for advocacy campaigns on the prevention of illegal drug use, which also covers the topic about depression and other family issues which could be the reason why some people take drugs.

On the other hand, the Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Dumaguete City is also looking into this concern not only for their learners but to their parents as well.

DepEd Dumaguete City Division Project Development Officer Sean Adrian Guardiano said they have a program dubbed “DepEd Dumaguete CARES” which is an online platform that serves as a portal for mental health, psycho-social support, and career guidance for learners and their parents.

Guardiano said that registered guidance counsellors of the city division are catering to the clients of their program.

It is also their way of monitoring the mental well-being of learners.

He added that mental health is a big concern in their agency as he admitted there have been incidents of suicide among the students of the city division.

“We have been consistent in assisting them especially in the provision of psycho-social support and psychological first aid,” Guardiano said.

Meanwhile, Faith Tabernacle Church Pastor Manuel Bawiin also emphasized the need to connect with the Lord as one family, as he believed that reading the words of God in the Bible can help bring peace and treat depression.

He also noted that having a strong spiritual life will strengthen the foundation and stability of the family.

The Kapihan sa PIA forum held on Sept. 26 is part of the advocacy activities of the City Government of Dumaguete through their Family Committee to promote the welfare of families and their role in nation-building.

It is also in line with the local observance of the National Family Week held from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2. (RAL/PIA7 Negros Oriental)  

About the Author

Roi Anthoni Lomotan


Region 7

Roi Anthoni Lomotan is an Information Officer at Philippine Information Agency (PIA) - 7. He is currently based in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. His job at PIA includes covering general beat assignments and other important events in the province.

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