A recent survey from the Department of Health (DOH) revealed that some 3.6 million Filipinos are suffering from mental health disorders amid the coronavirus pandemic which has resulted in stress and anxiety among common citizens, apart from the loss of jobs, and increased hunger and poverty.
The survey which was presented by the DOH Mental Health Program in a recent online press briefing detailed that 3.6 million Filipinos are battling mental, neurological, and substance disorders as the country struggles to contain COVID-19.
The DOH noted that the real figures of Filipino people suffering from mental health issues could be higher than the mentioned number as the survey only covered three selected conditions.
It added that there has been an “alarming spike of calls” the hotline of the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) has been receiving in the past months.
From March 17 to October 6, the NCMH Crisis hotline takes an average of 32 to 37 calls daily, with the monthly average calls skyrocketing to 907, or a 50% increase compared to the data from 2019. Of these, an average of 53 monthly calls are related to suicide.
Unlike other countries, the Philippines still lack the needed accessible resources for the public to consult and address mental health issues for free.