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How to know if you are ‘mentally well’ amid COVID-19 pandemic?

/ 05:21 PM September 10, 2020

People with no underlying mental health issues may feel overwhelmed during the pandemic and wonder why they are teary or heavy-hearted. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO via The Straits Times

MANILA, Philippines — How will you determine if you are “mentally well” amid life’s uncertainties especially with the current coronavirus disease pandemic?

Dr. Bernard Argamosa, program director of the 24/7 Crisis Hotline and Wellness Center of the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), provided three factors that can help you answer this question.

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“How do we know that we are mentally well? We go back sa tinatawag nating functioning (to what we call functioning),” he said in a media forum.

“Ano ba ang function ng tao? Tatlo po ‘yan lagi. [First is] academic or occupational. Nakakapagtrabaho ka ba? Maayos ka ba sa school?

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(What are the functions of a person? There are three. First is academic or occupational. Are you able to work and study properly?)

“Number two, ‘yung interpersonal. Kumusta ka sa mga mahal mo sa buhay, kumusta ka sa asawa mo, kumusta ka sa mga kapamilya mo?

(Number two is the interpersonal factor. How are you with your loved ones, with your spouse, and your family?)

“And number three is self-care. Naaalagaan mo ba ang sarili mo? Naliligo ka pa ba? Nasa bahay ka na lang, tatlong araw na ‘yung suot mo?” said Argamosa.

(And number three is self-care. Are you able to take care of yourself? Do you still take a bath? Maybe you are just inside your house but you wear the same clothes for three days in a row?)

He explained that “there is a problem” if at least one from these three basic areas of functioning is “compromised.”

Nevertheless, Argamosa urged the public to hold on hope despite the COVID-19 situation that has been keeping most Filipinos at home since community quarantine rules were imposed in March.

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“Hope should be the last one to disappear in life. Dapat nga hindi [ito mawala], but from a psychological point of view, it is considered as the most basic of all virtues,” he said.

“It will give you the strength to endure life’s challenges and life’s blows. Let us hope that everything will be okay. Sabi nga (Like what they say), expect the worst but hope for the best,” he added.

The Department of Health and Malacañang earlier encouraged the public who may be experiencing anxiety or depression to look for someone to talk to or contact mental care hotlines.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire even reminded the public that “it is okay not to be okay,” adding that everyone experiences feelings of unease due to the persisting pandemic.

NCMH’s crisis hotlines can be reached at 0917-899-USAP (8727) and 7-989-USAP (8727).

JPV

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