Davao City offers free psychosocial services to parents, children

By Armando Fenequito Jr.

DAVAO CITY -- The city government here has offered free psychosocial services to parents and children who are feeling the impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.


City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) Pre-Schoolers and Children’s Concern Division head Gina Molon said they are offering the service as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on the social and mental well-being of people, especially of children.

“Children tend to develop anxiety and restlessness especially when confined inside the home. Due to limited movements, some children stop doing things that they normally do,” Molon said.

She said there is a need for children to have an outlet to interact so they do not suffer from the psychological effects of being home-quarantined.

“Kinahanglan ni makita karon sa mga parents. Ang atong mga bata karon, because they are restless, and they have experienced anxiety, nagiging dependent sila sa adults, kung unsay ihatag sa parents. Since they cannot get out, they cannot go to school, so ang pinaka-strength ug pinakaginahugutan ug ginatan-aw karon sa mga bata are their parents (Parents need to pay attention to their children. Our children are restless and they have experienced anxiety. They become dependent on their parents. Since they cannot get out, they cannot go to school, so they draw their strength from their parents),” she said.

Molon said parents are urged to provide their children with activities at home to develop their sense of responsibility and ease their boredom and anxiety.

“For instance, gardening. Dili lang si Mama or si Papa. You can let your children participate. Pwede pud gamayng pag-silhig. Let your children get involved with household chores nga kaya lang nila and they will enjoy that kasi ilang energy is na-emit didtoa sa pagsilhig, pag-gardening. Allow them to explore, hayaan nato sila (For instance, gardening. It is not only Mama or Papa. You can let your children participate. They can also sweep the floor. Let your children get involved with household chores and they will enjoy that since their energies are being used through sweeping and gardening), ” she said.

Some of the simple but fun activities that can be done inside the home are board games, family reading, watching educational shows; teaching children life skills like folding clothes, sweeping the floor, basic sewing, among others; arts and crafts activities to develop their creativity or even making use of inflatable pools to at least make them feel summer at home.

It is suggested that the children know the current situation by giving them correct information about the pandemic. Teaching them how to wash their hands and maintaining cleanliness to avoid getting sick is also essential.

Children also need to know the importance of staying at home for their safety under the care of their parents.

Psychosocial services are one of the programs of the CSWDO to assist people to maintain good mental health.

Molon said there are social workers available to help with the concerns of children affected by the pandemic.

For assistance, parents may call the CSWDO hotlines: 0977 760 8610, 0956 815 1493, 0939 768 3267, 0951 516 5630, 0933 404 1070, and 0933 404 1072.