October 20, 2017, 8:45 am
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HOPELINE for assistance

THE Department of Health will launch HOPELINE in September, a 24/7 hotline that anybody who suffers from depression and other mental health issues can call in case he or she is hopelessly “drowning” and a “lifeguard” is needed.

This phone-based counseling service, according to DOH, will cater callers especially those who are in deep emotional crisis and have a tendency to commit suicide. At the end of the line are counselors and psychiatrists who can give them the right advice or can tap hospitals if the caller needs to be admitted.

In terms of countries with the highest rate of suicide, World Health Organization ranked the Philippines as 150th out of 170. Thus, some critics find this project by the new DOH Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell Ubial, irrelevant as there are other serious health concerns that need more action. However, mental health issues cannot be cured simply by taking medicines; sometimes, it just needs a person to listen. 

Disclosing personal difficulties with family and friends may not be easy for some people due to fear of harsh judgments. They tend to keep their problems to themselves and bear it when, actually, it leads them to a worse situation. Also, only a few Filipinos consult or even have personal psychiatrists for they find it lavish and unnecessary.

Although Philippines is one of the countries with the happiest people, calling someone to vent on with your personal issues is definitely a good idea. HOPELINE Project is there for everyone who rings its number 24/7. Callers can assure their identity’s confidentiality as well as their mental health concerns. Furthermore, they may find hope with the guide of experts without them being discriminated. – QUEENIE JOY RESMUNDO, Polytechnic University of the Philippines
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