DOH encourages public to seek help if experiencing mental health problems

Published June 22, 2021, 1:42 PM

by Analou de Vera


The Department of Health (DOH) has reminded the public on Tuesday to also take care of their mental health as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose various challenges in human life.

People may experience stress or anxiety during this time of pandemic, said Frances Prescilla Cuevas, chief health program officer of the DOH’s Disease Prevention and Control Bureau.

Citing studies, Cuevas said that more people experienced rising stress levels, particularly during the start of the pandemic.

“In the early part of 2020, sa pagsusuri tumaas ang anxiety and stress-level ng mga tao, which is understandable dahil syempre medyo natakot ang lahat tungkol dito sa mga pangyayari (In the early part of 2020, based on studies, people’s anxiety and stress-levels increased, which is understandable because, of course, everyone was scared on what is happening),” she said during a public press briefing on Tuesday, June 22.

“People cannot really anticipate what’s going to be happening, so anxiety levels are still there. The stress-level is still a little bit high,” she added.

Cuevas reminded the public to be mindful if their family members are exhibiting unusual behaviors such as long-hours of sleep and withdrawal from activities.

“So, kumbaga may mga pagbabago sa kanyang usual na ginagawa at ngayon parang na notice mo na may pagbabago. Then, that is already a sign or a red flag na baka nangangailangan siya ng tulong (So, there are changes in his usual routine and you noticed it. Then, that is already a sign or a red flag that he might need help),” she said.

If a family member shows signs of mental health problem, it is best to have a discussion with him or her, said Cuevas.

“Pwede mo siyang kausapin. Tanungin mo kung ano ang kanyang mga nararamdaman at kung ano ang pwedeng mong maitutulong (You can talk to him. Ask him how he feels and what you can do to help),” she said.

She also encouraged the public to call the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH).

The NCMH hotline can be reached through the following numbers: 1553, 0917-899-8727, 0966-351-4518, and 0908-639-2672.