DSWD extends psychosocial services to pandemic-hit personnel, individuals

Published July 21, 2020, 10:08 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Tuesday that availing of psychosocial services is important in taking care of one’s mental and emotional well-being in this time of pandemic as it intensified its psychosocial services support not only to individuals with the mental health concerns, but also to its 30,000 personnel nationwide.

The DSWD- Human Resource Management and Development Service (HRMDS) said it is encouraging the agency personnel to avail of its counseling services.

“Officials and staff are encouraged to avail of the free well-being coaching/counseling and crisis helpline services offered by our mental health and psycho-social support service partners, such as Mindwell Psychosocial Services and The Masters Psychosocial Services to help them deal with emotional crises, stress, and anxiety,” Director Leonardo Reynoso, HRMDS head, said in a statement.

He said they conduct the mental health first response and psychological first aid via teleconferencing and other available platforms together with their counterpart in the Field Offices as internal service providers, while external service providers are offering free services through their support hotlines.

“To date, around 3,300 DSWD personnel nationwide have benefitted from the mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) to include stress debriefing, counseling, mindfulness sessions, peer support groups, among others,” the DSWD said.

The agency cited the availability of social workers who are trained on psycho-social first aid and critical incident stress debriefing to reinforce the efforts of the HRMDS and the service providers.

It assured the public that it is also extending psychosocial interventions to locally stranded individuals as well as to Filipino transferees from Sabah as part of its services for the vulnerable sector during this public health emergency.

“Likewise, the Department, as part of its technical assistance and resource augmentation (TARA) function, capacitates local government units (LGUs) to help them better provide psychosocial interventions to their constituents,” the DSWD said.

It explained that the Local Government Code of 1991 mandates the LGUs to provide psychosocial services to their constituents, especially those affected by disasters or are experiencing a crisis.