Calls to mental health hotline in first half of 2021 near last year’s total

Published by rudy Date posted on August 6, 2021

(Philstar.com), 6 Aug 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The National Center for Mental Health hotline has received almost as many calls in the first half of 2021 as it did for all of 2020, data shows.

According to NCMH data, their hotline received more than 10,544 calls from January to July of this year.

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In comparison, the center received 11,017 mental health related calls last year, just a little more than the number of calls received in the first half of 2021.

Majority, or 63%, of the calls received this year were by women, and 37% were by men. Most of the callers in since 2020 were between 18 to 30 years old.

NCMH also said the hotline received 3,329 suicide-related calls during the first half of 2021, more than double the 1,282 of similar calls it received in 2020.

Here are the top reasons that callers got in touch with the crisis hotline:

  • Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms
    Asking for referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist
    Love or relationship problems
    Problems in the Family
    Inquiry regarding hospital services
    Psychotic symptoms
    Problems about work/employment
    Problems in academics/school
    Depression (clinically diagnosed)
    Need someone to talk to

DOH: Okay to not be okay

The Department of Health has acknowledged that the pandemic can affect mental health and has emphasized that those who feel sad or worried during the coronavirus pandemic are not alone.

“Okey lang na hindi ka okey. Hindi ka nag-iisa. May mga taong naandiyan para suportahan ka,” it says on its FAQ on mental health.

(It is okay to not be okay. You are not alone. There are people who will support you)

DOH also suggests going on “brain breaks” like getting in touch with family or friends through text messaging, phone calls, or online chat. It says it is important to stay connected with others despite the restrictions on movement due to the pandemic.

“You can talk to them about what you are experiencing,” the DOH said.

It also suggests exercise and doing things that make you happy or that relax you.

NCMH’s crisis hotlines can be reached at their mobile numbers: 0917-899-8727, 0908-639-2672, 0966-351-4518 or through landline number 7-989-8727 (7-989-USAP). — Anne Beatrice Lagman, intern

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