Nat’l Center for Mental Health opens 24/7 crisis hotline

Marje Pelayo   •   May 21, 2020   •   355

MANILA, Philippines – The National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) 24/7 crisis hotline is now open to serve the public in response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The President asked for such a hotline to ensure that the public is provided with appropriate mental health care amid the coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Anyone who is experiencing anxiety or other mental health issues may seek professional help through hotline numbers 0917-899-USAP (8727) or 8989-USAP (8727).

According to NCMH Chief Dr. Roland Cortez, it is important for a person experiencing anxiety or depression to have someone to talk to or someone to whom he or she can open up. 

Cortez said their experts on mental health are on call to provide the public their much needed assistance.

NCMH in need of 1,000 rapid test kits, PPEs as COVID-19 sickens 62 staff, 13 patients

Marje Pelayo   •   April 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) is needing a thousand rapid test kits and more personal protective equipment (PPEs) for the immediate execution of the center’s measures to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections among its vulnerable residents.

This, after the Department of Health (DOH) reported that 13 psychiatric patients and 62 personnel from the center have tested positive for COVID-19.

In an interview with the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon, NCMH Chief Dr. Ronald Cortez said the DOH has already allowed mass testing among the center’s residents and personnel to fast track the process of segregating those who are not infected from COVID-19 positive patients, especially those who are asymptomatic.

“At the moment, we are trying to get mga 1,000 siguro para we will include other pavilions that are not having positive cases to include also our health workers,”

Ang problema natin kasi may mga asymptomatic cases. It seems na hindi sila nilalagnat. Hindi sila nagkakaroon ng flu-like symptoms and yet nagpa-positive (The problem is there are asymptomatic cases. They don’t exhibit fever or flu-like symptoms but they are positive),” he added.

To date, the NCMH has recorded a total of eight deaths, six of which were confirmed COVID-19 positive cases.

The results of the swab tests of the other two fatalities are yet to be released.

According to Dr. Cortez, all eight patients had pre-existing medical conditions before they contracted COVID-19.

All 48 of the 62 infected employees are on home-quarantine while the 14 others are confined in different hospitals.

None of the employees and the infected psychiatric patients are in critical condition, the center chief assured.

Dr. Cortez said the center is also in need of additional PPEs and N95 masks for protection of their frontliners who are attending to positive cases.

He assures the residents’ relatives that the facility is undertaking measures to protect them from the deadly coronavirus.  

“We would like to inform the relatives of all the 3,200 patients of the National Center for Mental Health that we are doing everything to help avert the cross contamination of COVID -19 and to elevate the patients from contacting the disease,” he concluded.

PCG saves man after jumping off a ship in Sibuyan island

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 2, 2019

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) saved a 53-year-old man who jumped off a ship along the coast of Gallo island in Sibuyan on Monday (September 30).

Authorities reported that the man, identified as Carlito Cataylo, might have been suffering from depression.

The sea marshals that were on-duty at that time immediately saved Cataylo after his 60-year-old wife called out for help when he jumped from MV St. Michael de Archangel.

“Base doon sa report na natanggap namin medyo parang agitated siya. Nakainom pero noong tinanong parang may dinadaanan siyang depression, (Based on the report we received, he seemed agitated. He had a drink but when he was interviewed, it seemed like he is going through depression)” according to PCG Spokesperson Capt. Armand Balilo.

Cataylo was immediately given first aid.

Experts say it is not easy for individuals who are suffering from depression. They advise relatives to talk to their loved ones who are suffering from the mental illness. It is also better to consult a specialist.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Are suicidal thoughts contagious?

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 5, 2019

Image by Лечение Наркомании from Pixabay

There is a touch of lightness in the air as sun rays peek through the trees. Each step has a sound which carries a sense of peacefulness. There is calm.

But suddenly, all the lights go out. Nothing remains, not even darkness.

Without any warning, a person can experience an episode of depression without any triggering factor. This is according to psychiatrist Ranier Umali.

Dr. Umali said a person with depression can continue feeling good for months. However, he reiterates that depression is an episodic sickness which patients should be reminded of.

“Minsan, two months na okay na feeling niya ano, biglang darating iyan. Kahit walang trigger iyan. Kapag biglang dumating iyan at hindi alam ng pasyente na iyan ay talagang episode, madedepress ulit iyon, (Sometimes, [a patient] will be okay for two months, but [depression] will suddenly come, even without a trigger. If it comes and the patient is unaware of the episode, he will revert back to being depressed),” he said.

Umali said suicide is the end result of the sickness but depression is not contagious.

“Di siya nakakahawa, because ang suicide is not a sickness it is not infectious. It is a manifestation of a disease process. That is the outcome, (It is not contagious, because suicide is not a sickness),” he said.

However, he clarified that suicide thoughts shared on social media can affect another person.

“Shared thoughts, nadadala ka. Parang mob rule iyon. Nakakaapekto, iba iyong nakakahawa, nakakaapekto [iyon] nakaka-influence iyong thought process, (Shared thoughts can influence you. It is like a mob rule. It is different from being contagious. The thought process can be influential),” he said.

In an episode of UNTV’s morning show Good Morning Kuya, Umali further explained some misconceptions about depression and offered tips to help a person suffering from the disorder.

There are six causes of suicide:

  • Heroism
  • Honor
  • Culture
  • Protest
  • Psychosis
  • Depression

Umali explained that psychosis and depression are the two negative causes of suicide. He also said that the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 1/3 of the population of a country is depressed.

Depression is not an ordinary kind of sadness

Umali said a person with depression is experiencing severe sadness and anhedonia, which is the inability to feel pleasure.

He explained that this is due to a hormonal imbalance in the brain. Low serotonin levels and low oxygen levels in the brain are some of the factors which puts a person in a depressive mood.

Symptoms of depression

  • lassitude
  • vegetative functioning
  • lack of sleep
  • oversleep
  • lack of appetite
  • overeating
  • social isolation

Stop giving advises

Relatives and friends of a person suffering from depression are advised not to carelessly give advice to their loved ones with depression. Umali said not to take away control from the patient.

“Stop giving advice because your advice is your solution and not his solution,” he added.

Exercise but not to the point of exhaustion

It is better for a depressed person to try and get out of bed and do exercises, according to Umali. These include outdoor activities, however, he cautions against pushing oneself to exhaustion.

Avoid eating foods with caffeine

Umali listed down the foods a depressed person should avoid, which include drugs, alcohol, soft-drinks, tea, chocolate, and coffee.

“The last person to know whether he or she is depressed is the person himself,” Umali said. “Kaya kayong mga relatives kapag nakita niyo na iyon kayo na ang gumawa ng aksyon para sa kaniya. (So relatives, if you see [the symptoms] take action for his sake)—AAC

Suicidal thoughts: Nakakahawa ba? | Usapang Pangkalusugan

Suicidal thoughts, nakakahawa ba?Alamin kung paano malalabanan ang depresyon o matinding kalungkutan at ang mga paraan para mapapanatili ang kalusugang pang-kaisipan.

Posted by Good Morning Kuya on Wednesday, 3 July 2019

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