Baguio advocates drum up zero suicide campaign

Baguio advocates drum up zero suicide campaign

BAGUIO CITY – Advocates of mental health continue to drum up the campaign for “zero suicide” as more cases are logged here.

Ricky Ducas, mental health nurse and responder at the City Health Services Office (CHSO), who founded the psycho-social support group Baguio and the Anxiety and Depression Support Group-Baguio City, said on Wednesday they have already recorded 26 cases of suicide here from January to end August this year.

“The most recent was logged on October 25,” he said. “We hope we won’t have others more on the list.”

In 2020, the mental health clinic of the CHSO recorded 30 suicide cases. He said most of those who committed suicide were from ages 15 to 35 years old.

He said the most common trigger known to cause a person to end his/her life is the big change in the pandemic lifestyle, environment, and exhaustion with the kind of situation the world is into right now.

“Wearing a (face) mask can (also) cause an impact emotionally and mentally,” he said.

Ducas said they are spreading the information where individuals who need psycho-social help can go or contact them.

He said the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) receives thousands of texts, emails, and calls asking for time to have “talk therapy”.

Baguio’s mental health helpline managed by Ducas gets an average of five calls a day aside from the text messages and private messages sent to its social media page.

“They have different cases and different needs but common to them is a desire to talk to someone,” he said.

Ducas said they see something positive that many are coming forward and opening their communication lines to mental health professionals who can really help.

“Suicide can be prevented. Mental illness can be cured and not all individuals who seek psychiatric, psychological, or mental health support means they have a mental illness. The best doctor of our thoughts and thinking process are psychiatrists and psychologists and other health professionals, so ask for help,” he said.

He added that as people seek medical help for physical problems, mental problems can also be handled by doctors.

Ducas said mental health is not seasonal, “it should be made part of our culture where aside from having a physical check-up, there should also be a mental check-up”. (PNA)

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