Cayad outlined that suicide prevention along with other psychological and mental health concerns remain to be a challenge for the health sector, and stress, depression and uncertainties due to the Coronavirus disease (COVID – 19) pandemic add up the problem.
She explained that a person having thoughts or attempting suicide does not happen overnight; it is the end stage and a final pathway of series of stressful life events when a person gets overwhelmed by helplessness and thoughts that there is no other solution.
Common factors for a person’s vulnerabilities to attempt or commit suicide are stress, depression and mental illness. But it is preventable through psychiatric intervention or medication.
At the household or community level, everyone can do something to help prevent a person to have suicidal thoughts or to ease his stress or depression.
Whenever you hear a person joking or saying that he or she wants to commit suicide or if you feel that a person is burdened by stress or depression and becomes suddenly silenct and mostly alone, do not take it lightly and ask the person to talk about it, Cayad stressed.
By merely listening and showing you care may defer or eliminate a person’s thought of committing suicide, she added.
Cayad reported that the BGHMC catered to 103 suicide attempts from January to August this year.
The BGHMC Psychiatry Mental Health Support Services is currently providing online consultations and due to limited available manpower and resources, the services are currently limited to Baguio City and the nearby Benguet municipalities of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay.
Online consultation hours are from 8am to 3 pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 8am to 11am every Wednesday and Saturday. Based on the assessment of the psychiatrist on duty, emergency consultations can be done beyond the consultation hours.
They can be reached through their facebook page BGHMC Psychiatry Mental Health Support Services and hotline numbers 0956 - 0069808 and 0951 – 5998778.
World Suicide Prevention Day is being observed every September 10. It was initiated by the International Association of Suicide Prevention to increase awareness globally that suicide is preventable. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)
By Carlito C. Dar