THE Baguio City Health Services Office (CHSO) recorded an increase in the number of suicide cases in the city for the first quarter of 2021, with most of the cases involving males.
Ricky Ducas, CHSO coordinator, said in 2020, the city recorded a total of 30 suicide cases with five cases listed in the first quarter.
“As compared to the first quarter of this year, the city recorded 11 cases, which is alarming because we are only in the first quarter of 2021 so we can see the effects of our present condition as of the moment. Another alarming situation here is that majority of the cases involve male individuals with the age group coming from our young adults,” Ducas said.
Ducas added young adults are among the most vulnerable to suicide whose developmental milestones on love and belonging are found from their peers, friends and the community.
Aside from suicide cases, the CHSO is also monitoring mental illness or disorder cases.
“The effects of Covid-19 is a big contribution as a trigger to which the biological factor composition of a person aside from the present experience that we have at the moment wherein an increase in the rate of mental illness in the city was seen. Since at present we are under a pandemic situation, we now are experiencing mental illness cases,” Ducas added.
Ducas said mental illness includes a range of conditions for which there are standard criteria used to diagnose them, such as depression, anxiety and substance-use disorders, while mental illness affects how a person feels, thinks, behaves and interacts with other people.
As part of the strategies on the early detection of mental disorders among individuals, the CHSO mental health coordinator said their office had made available a 24-hour helpline that could be immediately contacted by people suffering from mental disorders for their situation to be assessed and provided with whatever available interventions before undergoing recommended treatment by experts.
Ducas admitted the number of individuals seeking psychological support from the CHSO on their mental health condition had significantly increased during the pandemic, which is why it is best for persons encountering mental problems to immediately seek appropriate interventions from experts for assessment and evaluation.
He said suicide, anxiety, depression and other forms of mental disorders need to be openly discussed to help people suffering from the same disorders to heal from their current condition and for them not to be harmed. People should also be open-minded about the prevailing situation of others.