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Depressed? Call 989-USAP

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines – The National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) has tasked counselors to man a hotline for cases of depression and other mental health problems in the country.

The agency on Thursday (May 2) launched the NCMH Crisis Hotline numbers, 0917-899-USAP and 989-USAP for Filipinos needing mental health crisis intervention and counseling services.

NCMH chief, Allan Troy Baquir said, “The hotline aims to reach out to those who do not have the immediate means to seek advice and serves as an avenue to offer hope and care for those who have mental health issues.”

Hotline counsellors have been assigned to attend to calls on depression, psychiatric emergencies, suicidal thoughts, grief and loss, relationship issues, sexual abuse, and domestic violence among other issues.

Those who are assessed with high risk will be immediately provided with intervention, Baquir said.

The World Health Organization reports that around 800,000 people die annually due to suicide. – Marje Pelayo

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Social media overuse can cause depression, research says

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, February 25th, 2019

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

Based on the Millenium Cohort Study of Economic and Social Research Council in United Kingdom, depression in female teenagers is caused by social media overuse.

From 11,000 girls aged 14 from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who participated in the study, 40 percent of the teens who are using social media showed signs of depression.

A concerned mother, Aling Babes, cut off their wifi connection at home to limit her children’s social media use.

She is also monitoring their use of communication gadgets and even knows the passwords to her children’s accounts.

Due to the restrictions, her daughter Sunshine uses most of her time studying and doing chores instead of spending time on her phone.

“Binibigyan natin sila ng oras kung hanggang kalian lang sila social media, alam ko tsaka aware ako,” she said (We schedule their social media time. I know and I am also aware),” Babes said.

Sunshine admits she uses social media to follow her favorite singers.

Kasi po may GC [group chat] po iyoong idol ko po, tapos doon po kami nag-uusap-usap po,” she said. (My idol has a group chat and we all talk there.)

Psychologist Dra. Camille Garcia said it is important for parents to guide their children especially during teenage years where personality development begins to progress.

Aside from depression, social media overuse can also cause a decrease in the self-esteem of children.

Cyber-bullying and manipulation can also happen in social media.

“Masyado na tayong naging lenient na akala natin ang pagtutuon ng pansin ng ating mga anak sa mga social media account at the same time magkaroon sila ng access sa kanilang mga accounts. Bilang isang magulang, you should know the dapat there should be a limit (We are becoming lenient in monitoring our children and their social media account, at the same time, having access in their social media accounts. As a parent you should know there should be a limit),” she said.

Teenagers should only use social media for a maximum of one hour, Garcia added. — Aileen Cerrudo with reports from Rosalie Coz

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DOH calls for increased awareness vs. depression after Razorback drummer’s suicide

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Razorback drummer Brian Velasco. | Courtesy: Brian Velasco FB

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday (January 17) issued a statement calling on the public to help spread awareness against depression following the apparent suicide of drummer Brian Velasco of the ‘90s hard rock band, Razorback.

The 41-year-old drummer fell to his death on Wednesday (January 16) from the 34th floor roof deck of the City Land Tower in Vito Cruz, Malate, Manila, according to a report from Malate Police Station.

He broadcasted his suicide live on Facebook which went viral on social media.

The DOH in its statement calls on the public “to stop sharing the tragic video” in respect to the grieving family.

Instead, the department encourages the public “to start talking about depression to end the stigma surrounding mental health because when left unattended, it (depression) can lead to suicide.”

According to the DOH, about 3.3 million Filipinos suffer from depressive disorder with suicide rate higher in males at 2.5 and 1.7 females per 100,000.

The World Health Organization (WHO), meanwhile, said 800,000 people die every year due to suicide and it is considered the second leading cause of death among individuals age 15 to 49 years old in the world.

The DOH encourages anyone who is suffering from depression or in need of help, to report to the agency’s 24-hour suicide prevention hotline numbers (02) 804-4673; 0917-5584673 or send a SMS to 2919 for globe and TM subscribers. — Marje Pelayo

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Social media linked to higher risk of depression in teen girls

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, January 5th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: A gallery assistant poses for a photograph during a press day to promote the upcoming exhibition ‘From Selfie to Self-Expression’ at the Saatchi Gallery in London, Britain March 30, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) – Teenage girls are twice as likely as boys to show depressive symptoms linked to social media use – mainly due to online harassment and disturbed sleep, as well as poor body image and lower self-esteem, researchers said on Friday.

In a study analyzing data from nearly 11,000 young people in Britain, researchers found that 14-year-old girls were heavier users of social media, with two-fifths of them using it for more than three hours a day, compared with a fifth of boys.

The study also found that 12 percent of light social media users and 38 percent of heavy social media users (five-plus hours a day) showed signs of having more severe depression.

When the researchers looked at underlying processes that might be linked with social media use and depression, they found 40 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys had experience of online harassment or cyberbullying. Disrupted sleep was reported by 40 percent of girls compared with 28 percent of boys. Anxiety and poor sleep are both linked to depression.

Girls were also more affected when it came to social media use and concerns about body image, self-esteem and appearance, the researchers found, but here the gap with boys was smaller.

Yvonne Kelly, a professor at University College London’s Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care who co-led the research, urged parents and policymakers to note its results.

“These findings are highly relevant to current policy development on guidelines for the safe use of social media and calls on industry to more tightly regulate hours of social media use for young people,” she said in a statement.

She said families may also “want to reflect on when and where it’s ok to be on social media” and consider restrictions on teenagers having mobile devices in their bedrooms.

The study, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), was published online in the journal EClinicalMedicine on Friday.

Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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