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

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 17 January 2019 03:11 PM

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, 5 January 2019 10:22 AM

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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Firecracker-related injuries decline by 52% at 236 cases – DOH

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, 2 January 2019 04:43 PM


A victim of firecracker piccolo

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) noted a significant decline in the number of firecracker-related injuries from December 21, 2018 to January 2, 2019.

This year’s tally, the DOH said, was 256, which is lower than the same period last year which was 492.

DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo noted, however, that there were still severe cases recorded this year.

“Mayroon pa rin tayong walong naputulan ng daliri. May 61 na tinamaan sa mata. Gusto pa rin natin na bumaba ito,” Domingo said,

Based on DOH’s record, Metro Manila tops the regions with the highest number of firecracker-related injuries, followed by Ilocos Region and Western Visayas.

Meanwhile, skyrockets or ‘kwitis’ tops the list of injury-causing firecrackers.

“Mayroon pa rin tayong piccolo, boga, at luces…5-star ang pinaka-common pa rin na injuries this year,” the health official said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III previously emphasized the strict implementation of firecracker zones because most firecracker-related injuries happen in streets or at home.

“So masaya tayo. Relatively speaking mababa. Pero mas masaya kung zero casualty. So palagay ko darating din ang panahon na zero casualty tayo. Mayroon tayong hinahabol na modelo ang Davao City,” Duque said noting Davao City for its record of zero-casualty in welcoming the new year.

Duque noted that most of the victims were high in alcohol.

Some were hurt while smoking cigarettes that sparked the firecracker.

Aside from firecracker ban, the DOH also encourages the public to do away from vices particularly drinking alcohol.

“Iyong manginginom kung pwede itigil ninyo na rin iyan. Dati may sinasabi safe amount of drinking alcohol. Wala ng safe amount kahit na small amount ay meron din banta sa ating kalusugan kaya itigil na  natin iyan,” Duque concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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‘Boga’ or PVC cannon tops list of injury-causing firecrackers; number of victims decline by 50% – DOH

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 31 December 2018 03:10 PM


Boga | Photo: Gintong Pluma at English Wikipedia

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) recorded a total of 55 firecracker-related injuries as of Sunday morning (December 30).

Most of the victims, 13 of them, were injured after using ‘boga’ which makes it the number one injury-causing firecracker at present.

“Ang talagang top natin  ngayon iyong boga dahil mas uncontrolled siya, unsafe siya. Pangalawa iyong ating mga trianggulo iyong parang labentador na malaki at tsaka kwitis,” said DOH USec Eric Domingo.

Despite this, Domingo noted the significant decline in the number of firecracker-related cases this year which is lower by 50% than the same period last year and a record low of 75% or 166 cases as compared to the record in the past five years.

Alongside the implementation of Executive Order 28 which bans the use of firecracker in the country, many Filipinos have acknowledged the harm and damage that firecrackers may cause that’s why they prefer not to attempt using it just to join the festivities.

Several Filipinos say they would rather watch fireworks display than to risk using firecrackers.

Ayoko po baka kasi maputukan ako. Mapuputol po ang kamay ko,” said John Mark Saludo.

“Gastos lang iyan kapag bumili ka ng paputok. Meron kaming tururot para sa mga bata para walang aksidente,” noted Gaudencio Fermajo.

“Sa bahay lang ako siyempre doon lang ako mag-kain. Hindi ako magpapaputok kasi ayaw ko masugatan ang kamay ko. May Diabetes ako,” said Nony Suarez.

“Bawal nga iyan. Mahuhuli tayo diyan mahirap iyon. Pwede iyon na lang pagsalubong sa bagong taon, torotot at saka magsisisigaw na lang ako,” Moling Magan said.

Meanwhile, the DOH constantly reminds the public to refrain from using firecrackers so as not to add to the casualties and to welcome the new year safe.

“Nakikiusap pa rin kami sa ating mga kababayan na sana po iwasan na ang mga paputok. Ito ay injury at mga kapansanan na maaari talaga nating ma- prevent. Huwag tayong gumastos ng pera na susunugin lang tapos iyong mga anak pa natin iyong mapipinsala at magkakaroon ng kapansanan. Marami pong ibang paraan naman para salubungin ang bagong taon,” Usec. Domingo said. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)


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