DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire (file photo)
MANILA – The Department of Health urged the public to remain socially connected to avoid “quarantine fatigue” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Ito nga po iyong aming laging pinapaalala ‘no, unang-una, please stay connected (We would like to remind everyone, first of all, please stay connected),” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a Laging Handa public briefing on Saturday aired over state-run PTV4.
Vergeire said because of the quarantine status that is imposed in different parts of the country, people experience social withdrawal.
She said calling friends and loved ones will help, as well as finding a hobby or other recreational activity.
“After so many months of being quarantined, people feel restless; people feel anxious; they’re irritable. Mayroon po silang mga withdrawal, mayroon pong mga loss of motivation because of reduced productivity. Ito po iyong mga nakikita natin ngayong mga senyales (they experience social withdrawal and loss of motivation because of reduced productivity),” Vergeire said.
People need to develop a coping mechanism, said Vergeire, and accept the fact that things will not go back to the way it used to be, and start to transition to the new normal.
Meanwhile, amid the raging pandemic, the number of Filipinos who experienced some mental health issues rose to about 3.6 million according to studies that Vergeire cited.
She said this is mainly because many people developed a fear of contracting Covid-19, while others are anxious over work issues.
“We have established this hotline at the National Center for Mental Health where we hired professionals so we can cater those individuals who really need somebody to talk to and help them,” Vergeire said in a mix of English and Filipino.
The DOH also launched Mental Health Week in different regions to raise awareness of the importance of being mentally healthy.
The NCMH Crisis Hotline gives emotional support to all those experiencing anxiety, stress, or depression at this time of the pandemic.
They also offer free online psychosocial support sessions for essential workers, as well as free psychiatric consultation.
The NCMH Crisis Hotline may be reached by calling 0917-899-8727 (USAP) or (02) 7-989-8727 (USAP). (PNA)