Ilocos Norte opens helpline to address mental health issues

The province of Ilocos Norte launched on Friday a dedicated hotline and center for anyone who needs advice during this pandemic.


Dubbed as, “Speak Up, I’m Here,” the campaign aims to provide an avenue for residents in distress to express whatever is bothering them which may lead to depression and other psychology-related incidents.


During the launch attended by provincial officials and public and private stakeholders, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc said the spike of suicide incidents in the province is alarming amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.


“Listening is one of the keys and speak up is also important. Sometimes, you don’t know what someone is going through so let us establish a culture of openness, acceptance, and care,” said Manotoc, admitting that he himself experienced depression and it helps that he has a strong support group whom he can depend on.


For someone who wish to speak up about anything, the helpline numbers are now open for counseling. These are: 0921 952 9236 for Smart, Talk and Text and Sun cellular subscribers and 0966 461 0706 for Globe and Touch Mobile subscribers.


The provincial government has partnered with certified counseling professionals across the province to be part of the helpline team and administer psychological crisis interventions.


Last October 1, the Communications and Media Office, the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office, Gender and Development Office, and the Provincial Public Employment Service Office have joined hands in spearheading the movement.


Among the series of activities include face-to-face consultations, uploading videos on mental health, symposia or webinars, and opening a 24/7 hotline service for residents who seek professional mental advice.


The Gov. Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital will also open a mental health center to provide psychological consultations to in-patients, especially those who tested positive for Covid-19.


Source: Philippines News Agency


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