ZAMBOANGA CITY (Philippine News Agency) – Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has acknowledged rising cases of suicides in the city, blaming it partly on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Salazar said Wednesday she has instructed Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite, City Health Office chief, and City Social Welfare officer Socorro Rojas to study the possibility of strengthening the city’s mental health program.
She said the pandemic has caused depression and exacerbated anxiety among many residents, contributing to suicide incidents.
Police reported that 10 people, mostly men, have committed suicide since January 1 this year.
The latest suicide case involved a 65-year-old resident of Barangay Pasonanca. Some of the victims were students, farmers, and unemployed, police said.
“I would like to convey my condolences to the families of the victims,” Salazar said.
She said the Department of Education should also look for ways to help the students manage their learning with ease to avoid stressful situations.
The mayor also called on the parents to “always guide their children and make them happy. Let’s help one another learn to address depression and frustrations. There should be a balance of recreation and, most importantly, faith in the Almighty.”