DSWD bares new flagship program to strengthen mental health efforts
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Thursday issued a memorandum institutionalizing the “Wireless Mental Health and Psychosocial Support to Individuals and Families Affected by Crisis Situations (WiSUPPORT)” initiative, which aims to offer a methodical response and technology-based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support to the public.
Through Memorandum Circular No. 19, S. 2022, DSWD said it will now be establishing the WiSupport program as a regular and flagship program under the agency’s initiatives for mental health efforts.
“The WiSUPPORT is a social welfare model intervention that seeks to provide a systematic response and technology-based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) to clients including children in need of special protection, children and families in situations of armed conflict, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, overseas Filipinos in distress, women in especially difficult circumstances, individuals involved as first responders and caregivers to crisis situation, and other individuals and families in distress, among others,” said the DSWD in a statement.
The release of the memorandum also came as the DSWD led the celebration of the 30th National Children’s Month (NCM) with the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and the National Youth Commission (NYC).
It also coincided with the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1989, with the Philippines being a signatory to the first binding treaty exclusively dedicated to the protection and promotion of children’s rights.
Citing a Crisis Hotline Report from the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), DSWD revealed that 9.7 percent of all calls connected to suicide were from minors “distressed by feelings of sadness, anxiety, stress, bullying, family problems, and academic concerns as part of their reasons.”
This prompted the department to initiate various measures and activities to tackle the mental health problem among the youth, celebrating this year’s NCM with the theme of “Kalusugan, Kaisipan at Kapakanan ng Bawat Bata Ating Tutukan (Focus on the Health, Mind and Welfare of Every Child)!”