Government urged to hire psychologists to help workers’ mental health

A psychologist called the government to strengthen its mental health programs by suggesting that every department should hire psychologists to help ensure the employees are given the support they need to handle stress and depression.

Government urged to hire psychologists to help workers’ mental health
Stress is the main trigger of suicide | Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

Ericson Batican, Psychological Center head doctor in Davao, also urged the public to remove the stigma on asking for help to manage mental health.

“People should understand that it is okay to consult a psychologist because it could make a difference when you consult a professional to help you with your problems,” Batican told SunStar Davao in an interview.

Batican cited the rising incidence of suicides and the need to implement more programs focused on mental health. He said, “Hindi pa strengthened ang ating mental health programs although we have mental health bill or law. It's even becoming more popular with series of suicide incidents featured in the news.”

Last year, the Mental Health Law was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte. Under the law, the government would provide affordable and accessible mental health services for Filipinos.

The Mental Health Law would secure the rights and welfare of persons with mental health needs and mental health professionals. It would provide mental health services down to the barangays; integrate psychiatric, psychosocial, and neurologic services in regional, provincial, and tertiary hospitals; improve mental healthcare facilities; and promote mental health education in schools and workplaces.

Batican shared that males are more vulnerable to suicide thoughts and tendencies. He said, “Adolescents, old age and mid-life, ‘yun ‘yung mga age group na madalas ang suicide. And although females commit more suicide, pero ‘yung males mas mataas ang probability ng successful suicide.”

“Kaya naman mental health is very important. Aside from the physical, we need to take care of our well-being,” the psychologist added.

According to the Department of Health, there were 2,413 suicide cases recorded in 2016, more than 2,000 were male and the rest female. Figures are hard to note because there were likely many more unreported cases due to the stigma, or fear of people with suicidal tendencies to be judged.

Cornelio Banaag Jr., president of the Philippine Mental Health Association, said the common trigger for suicides is stress.

Dr. Amadeo Alinea of the Philippine Psychiatric Association also confirmed and said that while stress can differ for the rich and the poor, it has the same effect.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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