Online counseling services launched for COVID-19 hit Pinoys

Published by rudy Date posted on May 7, 2021

by Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star), 7 May 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Mental health and psychosocial counseling services are now being offered by the government online to persons and families affected by the coronavirus disease pandemic.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) launched these services last April 30 through its program dubbed “WiSUPPORT” or Wireless Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for Individuals and Families Affected by COVID-19 and Crisis Situations.

Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista emphasized that WiSUPPORT is aimed at ensuring that the general state of mental well-being of the public is prioritized amid the pandemic.

“The constant worry and fear of being infected by the virus and economic concerns of providing for their families, coupled with family conflicts and disasters amid the pandemic have brought anxiety, mental, and emotional distress to a lot of people,” he said.

In response, Bautista said the DSWD sought more accessible ways for the provision of psychosocial support to Filipinos affected by the pandemic.

For now, the DSWD’s social technology innovation program is available in its pilot areas in the National Capital Region, Central Visayas and the Caraga region.

It uses online platforms such as electronic mail, web portal, DSWD WiServ, telephone, and mobile application to provide the public with easy access to various communication tools to talk with DSWD WiSUPPORT service providers.

The service providers tapped for the project will also be provided learning and development services to ensure proper management of cases.

For emergencies needing immediate attention, clients will be assisted to be referred to psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health institutions who are members of the referral network such as the Department of Health and National Center for Mental Health.

Through the help of the Mental Health AWhereness PH mapping, integrated in the WiSUPPORT platforms, clients and service providers may also find agencies providing mental health services.

Among the target clientele of WiSUPPORT are Overseas Filipinos in Distress, children in need of special protection, senior citizens, women in especially difficult circumstances, persons with disability, family heads and other needy adults as well as other individuals and families in distress.

Clients in the pilot areas from Metro Manila, Central Visayas and Caraga region may access the services of WiSUPPORT through phone hotlines 0947-482-2864 (Smart) and 0916-247-1194 (Globe); text hotline 0918-912-2813; email: wisupport@dswd.gov.ph; website: ekwentomo.dswd.gov.ph, and Google Play app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cudavasol.wisupport.

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