Ilocos Norte to put up mental health center for in-patients, COVID-19 patients

LAOAG CITY, Sept. 22 (PIA) – With mental wellness becoming a priority in this time of pandemic, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte is set to establish a mental health center in the provincial hospital for in-patients and for patients who tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

To be housed at the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital, the mental health center aims to provide psychological consultations as suicide-related cases are being added in the province for the past months.

Aside from this, the provincial government has also mapped out several initiatives to address mental health concerns such as the “Speak Up, I’m Here” mental health movement.

Series of activities will be implemented on October 1 through this movement with the goal of further expanding the service delivery network to address mental health issues, encourage positive psychological practices, try to prevent suicide and improve mental health situations, and decrease mental health-related incidents.

Face-to-face consultations, uploading videos on mental health, symposia or webinars, and opening of 24/7 hotline services for residents who seek professional mental advice are slated for the movement’s official launching.

Moreover, to make mental health support services be made accessible and available for those who would like to avail, a helpline will be set up wherein certified counselling professionals across Ilocos Norte will be part of the helpline team and administer psychological crisis interventions.

“Let’s lend a helping hand while we can. Kung magtatanong tayo ng ‘Kumusta ka na?’, let’s mean it. Let’s look after all of those around us. This is a dark time for some people but rest assured that there are sunny days ahead. To everyone, kapit lang. Kaya natin ito. This too shall pass,” Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc said as he encouraged those who are struggling with their mental health in this time of pandemic. (JCR/AMB/MJTAB/PIA Ilocos Norte)

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