DOH INTENSIFIES MENTAL HEALTH ORIENTATION AMONG WORKERS IN ILOCOS TO COMBAT INCREASING NUMBER OF SUICIDES IN THE REGION

DOH INTENSIFIES MENTAL HEALTH ORIENTATION AMONG WORKERS IN ILOCOS TO COMBAT INCREASING NUMBER OF SUICIDES IN THE REGION

By Glen S. Ramos

SAN Fernando City, La Union — The Department of Health-Ilocos Region continuous to conduct mental health awareness and orientation seminar to employees of various agencies, both public and private to provide proper information and mitigate the number of suicide cases among workers.

According to the DOH Health Emergency Alert Reporting System (HEARS) suicide statistics of 2021, there were a total of 103 recorded suicide incident cases, with 2 attempted and 101 completed suicides.

Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco stated that mental illness or mental health problem is the main cause of suicide in the region with 33.32%. “Dahilan na rin ito sa naging sitwasyon natin sa kasalukuyang pandemya na nagkaroon tayo ng mga strict protocols tulad ng bawal lumabas ng bahay, mga community health protocols na dapat sundin at karamihan sa atin ay hindi makasunod at hindi makayanan ang matagal na pananatili sa bahay. Kasama na rin dito ang mga nawalan ng trabaho noong kasagsagan ng pandemya. Lahat ng ito ay nakapagdulot ng matinding suliranin sa ating pag-iisip.”

She added that financial problem (12.12%) and family problem (11.11%) are also the probable causes of suicide incidence. Relationship (7.7%) and school problem (5.5%) were recorded as causes of suicide. A total of 27.26% cases are undetermined.

Among the provinces with the highest incidence of suicide is Pangasinan with 37% followed by Ilocos Sur with 35%. Ilocos Norte has 24% and La Union with 5%.

Adults ages 20-59 years old comprise the largest number of suicide cases in the region with 68.66% followed by adolescent, 10-18 years old with 19.18%, elderly (60 yrs. and above) with 14.14% and 2.2% are undisclosed.

Suicide among males still accounts for the most percentage of cases at 80.78% while female cases at 21.20%.

Hanging is still the leading method of suicide at 80.77%, gunshot and chemical ingestion both at 4.4%, stab wound and laceration both at 2.2% and drug overdose at 1.1%. Undetermined cases at 10.10%.

“Addressing mental health issues in the workplace is important to continuously nurture the well-being of employees. Importante na malaman natin ang mga emplyedo nating at risk for mental health conditions upang maturuan sila ng stress management at mapangalagaan ang kanilang kalusugang pangkaisipan.”

The mental health orientation and awareness seminar focused on identifying signs and symptoms of work-related stress as well as stress management techniques in order to help prevent the development of mental health problems.

The regional office also provides psychological first-aid for individuals with mental health concerns through the “Tara, Usap Tayo” Hotline via Smart (0961) 8151416 and Globe (0945) 4914447. The service is open from Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. It is being conducted by the Non-Communicable Disease Cluster – Mental Health Unit led by Dr. Magnolia I. Brababante.

(ai/mtvn)

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