Mental health of students, teachers a ‘big challenge’ amid pandemic – DepEd chief
MANILA, Philippines — Ensuring the mental health of students and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic is a big challenge for the Department of Education (DepED), Education Secretary Leonor Briones said on Monday as she confirmed the suicide of a student.
“On the matter of these psychosocial problems which have emerged, so far among K-12 learners, one case has been documented where we can see the relation to COVID. They say the child committed suicide because of COVID,” Briones said in Filipino during the taped televised meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We believe, Mr. President, that big challenge for our people in government under the present psychosocial conditions are the children and the teachers — the general mental health issues,” she added.
Briones said this prompted the DepEd to further strengthen its psychosocial support program by partnering with the Psychological Association of the Philippines.
Earlier, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra sought the help of the religious sector after receiving information that there was an “alarming increase” in suicides.
The National Center for Mental Health has also reported an increase in the suicide-related calls received by its mental care hotline.
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The NCMH crisis hotline may be reached through 0917-899-USAP (8727); (02) 7-989-USAP; or 1553 (landline-landline, toll-free).
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