Philippines is speculated to be in a mental health crisis

Dr. Lourdes Ignacio asked the government for more effort in making mental health care available in the Philippines. She is a professor in University of the Philippines College of Medicine.

She asked for more action considering the Philippines could be in a mental health crisis.

The country’s population is about to hit the 110 million mark. The number of Filipinos who have mental health issues could reach 28.48 million. 4.45 million cases were detected by public health workers and were given mental health care.

Ignacio stated in her lecture people with “extreme life experiences” could suffer psychiatric issues. This “extreme life experiences” includes: living through disasters, violence in home and the streets, terrorism and armed conflict.

Mental health illnesses are the third most common form of relative incidence of disease for Filipinos as stated in the National Statistics Office. Mental health disorders mostly experienced by Filipino are: schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorder.

Patients with schizophrenia experience hallucinations, delusions and mood disturbances. Depression can be linked to many factors. From broken marriages, to loss of a loved one; extreme sadness, hopelessness, and helplessness seem inevitable. Patients with this condition could experience extreme nervousness, irritability and has problems with sleeping and concentrating.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 800, 000 people die because of suicide each year. This statistic would translate to one death for every 40 seconds. Department of Health launched a national hotline that will help people with mental health problems. The department teamed up with the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation for the HOPELINE Project. The HOPELINE Project is a 24/7 crisis support hotline for depression and suicide prevention.

The HOPELINE Project’s hotlines is at :
(02) 804 – HOPE or (02) 804 – 4673,
0917 558 HOPE or 0917 558 4673
and 2919 (toll-free number for Globe and TM users).

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