Around 3.6 million Filipinos suffering from mental disorders — DOH
MANILA, Philippines — Some 3.6 million Filipinos are suffering from mental disorders amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a Department of Health (DOH) survey.
The survey, which was presented by DOH National Mental Health Program head Frances Prescila Cuevas in a recent online press briefing, showed that at least 3.6 million Filipinos are suffering from any form of mental, neurological, and substance use disorders.
However, Cuevas said the figure could be higher as it only focused on the three selected conditions.
“This could be more because these are only selected conditions that we are looking at. We hope to be able to have a full spectrum of the results next year,” Cuevas said.
The DOH official said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected the mental health of Filipinos, citing an “alarming spike of calls” on the National Center for Mental Health’s (NCMH) hotline.
The NCMH’s Crisis Hotline receives an average of 32 to 37 calls a day from March 17 to Oct. 6, raising the monthly average calls to 907. Of these calls, an average of 53 monthly calls are suicide-related calls.
Compared to data from 2019, the daily and monthly average calls increased by around 50%, Cuevas said.
The top three reasons for calling are anxiety-related concerns, asking for a referral to a psychiatrist, and inquiry regarding hospital services.
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