24 June 2021 –The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) led by Betty Fangasan has catered to 4,447 coronavirus disease 2019 positive patients from January 1 to June 15, this year.

Thus, reported CSWDO deputy head Liza Bulayungan during flag raising rites, June 21, at City Hall headed by Rep. Mark Go, Mayor Benjamin Magalong and Vice-Mayor Faustino Olowan.

She said of that number, 2115 were extended psychological first aid (PFA) in collaboration with the Health Services Office (HSO) under Dr. Rowena Galpo and the Outstanding Women Leaders (OWLs) organization.

Aside from PFA, Bulayungan said, 2,487 of the patients including other families affected by granular lockdowns, were given family food packs and other support services.

She said it was alarming that for the first semester of 2021, there were 19 reported suicide cases in the city as compared to 24 for the whole of last year with 16 of those who took their lives were males and three, females.  Their ages ranged from 20 to 30 years old.

Depression was found to be the main culprit for the suicides due to stressful life events, mental health issues and disorders, family and financial problems, and the like, Bulayungan said.

“Apart from financial assistance, PFA was provided the bereaved families of suicide victims to initiate and enhance the healing process of their emotional and psychological trauma to prevent the contagion effect,” she said.

The CSWDO also extended financial assistance, PFA, and other social protective services to 70 returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) referred by the International Social Services Office thru the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Majority of the ROFs are those who lost their employment due to the pandemic leading to their repatriation back to the country, Bulayungan said. – Gaby B. Keith