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RO9 Mental HealthThe World Health Organization (WHO) defined mental health as a state of well-being where a person can realize his or her own abilities to cope with normal stresses of life and work productively. In reality, this definition emphasizes that mental health is not just the absence of psychiatric disorder or illness but a positive state of wellbeing. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects our thinking, feelings as well as our actions. Mental health is important at every stage of life from childhood through adulthood. If someone experiences mental health problems, his thinking, mood and behavior will be affected. Thus, National Mental Health Week is celebrated every second week of October pursuant to Proclamation No. 452, which was signed by former President Fidel V. Ramos in 1994 which is in accordance with the celebration of World Mental Health Day on October 10. And P.N. 452 which aims to raise greater public awareness and support for mental health. It has triggered more active international communications, which lead to a stronger adaptation worldwide among participating organizations.

According to Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque there is an increase in monthly calls in the hotlines of National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) regarding depression, with numbers rising from 80 calls pre-lockdown to nearly 400. It is in this regard that Secretary Duque emphasized the importance of mental health. “The importance of mental health initiatives is just as crucial as those for the COVID-19 pandemic… Now more than ever, we need to promise holistic health, where we are caring for the body, the mind, and even the spirit”

Mental health problems are common but help is available. If you know someone who may be feeling hopeless, isolated, and feeling they have no reason to live, reach out to them and be kind. Let them know that you care about them and that they are not alone, empathize with them. You could say something like “I can’t imagine how painful this is for you, but I would like to try to understand”.

It might also help to be non-judgmental and reassure them they will not feel this way forever. Encourage them to focus on getting through the day rather than focusing on the future. Also make sure someone is with them if they are in immediate danger. If you’re unsure about how to help, reach out to medical professionals for guidance. People with mental problems can get better and many recovered completely.

As a family, friend, colleague or acquittance, remember that you don’t need to find an answer, or even to completely understand why they feel the way they do. Listening to what they have to say will at least unload the burden they are carrying and feel that somebody cares for them.

 

AA VI Cielo Katrina M. Mabalot

References:

1. “DOH and WHO promote holistic mental health wellness in light of World Suicide Prevention Day” from https://www.who.int/philippines/news/detail/10-09-2020-doh-and-who-promote-holistic-mental-health-wellness-in-light-of-world-suicide-prevention-day

2. “Did you know: National Mental Health Week” from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/501699/did-you-know-national-mental-health-week

3. “’Reach out,’ WHO director says on mental health awareness week” from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/11/1959341/reach-out-who-director-says-mental-health-awareness-week

4. “National Mental Health Week” from https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/371397/Local-News/National-Mental-Health-Week