Baguio City, Philippines – The city logged 37 cases of suicide in 2021 with most victims observed to be young males, according to Baguio City Health Services Office (CHSO).
City Health Services Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo, as reported by Mt. Province Broadcasting Corporation, said 32 were male and five were female.
Health responder and coordinator of the program Nurse Ricky Ducas said that the suicide cases in the city increased to 23 percent compared to the number of cases recorded in 2020. But most of the cases, he said, were similarly males belonging to young adult age group.
Ducas explained that the age group is most vulnerable to suicide due to breakdown crisis involving love, problem with peers, family and their community.
Ducas noted that their office received alarming reports of suicide attempts among the youth, and according to their assessment, most of these cases are linked to family problems and exhaustion from the pandemic.
Ducas added that cases of common mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, and psychosis have also been observed to be on the rise this 2021.
In spite of that, the health responder felt relieved that more and more patients are open to seeking consultation and asking for help from mental health experts compared to the previous years.
However, Ducas said the challenge still lies with the lack of support system from parents and the stigma around mental health.
“Minsan pumupunta ang bata na mag-isa to seek help at kapag tinanong asan ang guardian for consent, sinasabhan daw kasi ng mga parents or support system na gawa-gawa lang nila or napapanood lang nila or worst is nasabihan sila na ano dapat ikaka-depress eh binigay naman pangangailangan at nakakakain naman sila,” Ducas said.
World Health Organization, on the other hand, reports that despite progress in mental health awareness efforts, people with mental health conditions continue to experience severe human rights violations, discrimination, and stigma.
WHO explained that mental health awareness effort is needed to increase understanding and reduce stigma. Access to quality mental health care and effective treatments must also increase to accommodate all mental disorders.
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