Mental health cases on the rise – DOH-CAR

Mental health cases on the rise – DOH-CAR

With the cases of mental disorders showing an alarming uptrend in the country, a medical expert is emphasizing the importance of opening up discussions on depression and suicide, among other mental health issues.

Thus, declared Dr. Genna Hipolito, a child and adolescent specialist at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) psychiatry department, during a media forum, March 23, at the Department of Health (DOH)-CAR Regional Training Center.

“Why do we need to talk about depression and suicide? Because we cannot afford to lose any lives,” she stressed.

Hipolito disclosed that  one out of five adults and one out of 10 children suffer from mental disorders while 16 percent of students between the ages 13-15 years old have seriously considered attempting suicide.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24, Hipolito claimed, as she revealed that  prevention is significant in intercepting suicide on depressed individuals.

“We can do something about the prevention of suicide incidents and that includes actually lessening the risk factors,” she said.

Among its risk factors are having other mental health conditions such as depression, alcohol or drug use, academic or family problems, bullying, trauma from violence or abuse, physical disability, recent stressful experiences, coping with sexual identity in an unsupportive environment, and loneliness and lack of support.

“Some preventative measures are talking to a friend suffering from depression, listening to them without judgment, encouraging them to get help, and speaking up to professionals if an individual is suicidal,” Hipolito said.

She said that depression is a more intense feeling of sadness that can last weeks up to years and that those suffering from the mental illness show biochemical imbalance in the brain that affects their judgment and energy to do basic human activities heavily.

“Depression is a long-term mental illness usually lasting a minimum of 2 years that may stem from genetics, biological, and social factors,” she added.

For psychiatry referral, free consultation, scheduling, and inquiries, people may contact BGHMC Psychiatry Mental Health Support & Services on Facebook, and for emergency cases, one may contact the 24/7 BGHMC Operation Center at 0977 674 8929, or BGHMC Psychiatry at 0956 006 9808. – Paula Stephanie Morales and Camille Galvan