Govt seeks religious sector's help amid 'alarming' rise in suicide cases—Guevarra | Inquirer News
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Govt seeks religious sector’s help amid ‘alarming’ rise in suicide cases—Guevarra

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 07:34 PM August 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The government has sought assistance from churches and religious leaders to provide guidance for their members suffering from mental health issues as the number of suicide cases increase during the threat of the coronavirus disease, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Saturday.

In a text message to reporters, Guevarra said it was Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of National Task Force against COVID-19, who informed him of the “alarming increase” in incidents of suicide.

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“He (Galvez) is seeking the help of our churches and spiritual leaders in providing counsel and guidance to their members and followers who are undergoing depression due to loss of employment or livelihood, anxiety of being afflicted with or dying from the dreaded disease, loneliness arising from isolation, and lack of hope for a return to their normal lives,” Guevarra said.

The Justice Secretary noted that he supports Galvez’s proposal, saying the guidance from the religious sector is needed for those grappling with mental health crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“I share Sec Galvez’s concern and respectfully request our spiritual leaders to bring this much needed message of hope to our suffering countrymen in order to stave off more incidents of self-destruction,” he said.

Previously, the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) said they have been receiving 300 to 400 calls a month since the coronavirus lockdown began in mid-March.

The NCMH has a hotline of 0917-899-USAP (8727) or 7-989-USAP (8727). Under Mental Health Act, it mandated the health center to launch a hotline in 2019 to assist those suffering from mental health problems including those at risk of suicide.

Here are some tips to look after physical and mental health amid the pandemic.

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TAGS: COVID-19, DoJ, Health, mental health, Nation, NCMH, Philippines, Religion
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