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Mental health agenda cited in 30th NCM celeb in NegOr

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental, Nov. 15 (PIA) -- The provincial government here marked the 30th National Children’s Month observation with government agencies and private organizations calling for public support to prioritize efforts to protect the children’s mental health.

For the Department of Education (DepEd) here, in recognizing school children’s mental health issues, DepEd has continued to provide psycho-social support to learners as they go back to in-person classes after pandemic.

However, it was noted that based on police investigation, suicide-related cases in the province involving minors were caused by family problems, personal or emotional distress, and academic concerns or studies.

DepEd Medical Officer Dr. Karina Louies de la Cruz said during the recent Kapihan sa PIA that under the Oplan Kalusugan sa DepEd (OK sa DepEd), mental health lessons are incorporated in the modules.

Some teachers were also trained to conduct psychological first aid to respond to students or personnel who exhibit signs of depression, de la Cruz said.

The DepEd Division of Negros Oriental also created a competition on spoken word poetry among students to raise awareness on mental health issues.

The panelists, however, cited that non-supportive families can detract from a child’s mental health or cause a mental health illness to worsen.

Some participants during the Kapihan forum expressed concerns about the impact of allowing children access to technology at an early age, which they believe have an impact on a child’s mental health.

Meanwhile, Reggie Locsin of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also  called on individuals, including children, who wish to access mental health services and psychosocial support to call for help through its “WiSupport Program” using technology-based platforms.

The program uses online platforms such as mobile phone, DSWD WiServ or text messaging, electronic mail, and mobile application to provide easy access to communication tools on mental health matters.

Locsin said that for emergency cases needing immediate attention, the clients will be referred to psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health institutions.

Negros Oriental clients or family members who want to avail or request for a free consultation may access WiSUPPORT by calling or texting 0999-849-9733 (Smart) and 0945-712-3718 (Globe). (JCT/PIA7 Negros Oriental)
 

Philippine Mental Health Association Negros Oriental Chapter Chair Glynda Descuatan (2nd from left) cites some signs and symptoms of an individual experiencing mental health issues as she advised them to seek professional help during a Kapihan sa PIA forum in Dumaguete City. (PIA Negros Oriental

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