City dad to COVID-19 patients: Don’t be scared to seek help for mental health concerns
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The death of a 45-year-old coronavirus patient from Barangay Labangon, who reportedly jumped off from one of the buildings of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), should be a wake-up call to Cebuanos that these patients need more support.
This was the statement of Cebu City Councilor David Tumulak, who chairs the committee on disaster management risk reduction in the City Council.
Tumulak said this is not the first time a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient attempted to take his own life. Another patient also jumped from the VSMMC in the past month as well but survived the fall.
The repeated events are a huge concern for the city, says Tumulak, as this reflects low morale and hopelessness in the patients. Discrimination from the public also contributes to increased anxiety and fear of the patients.
With this, Tumulak urged the patients to seek help with regards to their mental health concerns. The city is willing and ready to provide psychologists and mental health professionals for the patients.
“We have partner schools, institutions, and non-government organizations (NGOs) that are willing to provide assistance to our patients for their mental health needs. Please do not be scared to ask help,” said the councilor.
The patients can contact online support groups such as the USC Mental Health Online Support for covid-19 Crisis for supportive communication.
The councilor also urged the public to be more kind and supportive to patients suffering COVID-19.
He said discrimination will only hamper the recovery of the patients as they feel outcasted by the community.
“I urge our COVID-19 patients to trust our hospitals, trust the city, and hold on, because things will be better,” he said. /rcg
** Those facing huge personal problems or experiencing extreme sadness can reach out to and call Tawag Paglaum Centro Bisaya if they need someone to talk to. Tawag Paglaum Centro Bisaya is a 24/7 call-based hotline for suicide prevention and emotional crisis intervention established in Cebu. Anyone in Central Visayas experiencing a mental disorder relapse or suicidal thoughts may reach the hotline at 0939-936-5433 or 0927-654-1629.
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