by Philstar.com, 8 Nov 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education on Monday launched a helpline system that seeks to provide assistance to students and teachers experiencing mental distress amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The agency came up with a list of organizations along with their contact details that students and teaching personnel can access for psychological support.
“We prioritize the promotion and protection of the mental health and general welfare of our personnel and learners, especially amidst the challenges we face due to the crisis,” said Education Secretary Leonor Briones.
Groups have said the stress from distance learning has taken a toll on both their physical and mental wellbeing.
The setup is now in its second year as a result of the ongoing health crisis. But on November 15, the Philippines will begin a pilot run on resuming in-person classes.
DepEd said it has issued Memorandum No. 072 instructing its offices to include and promote the helplines of groups providing mental support.
These organizations include Circle of Hope Community Services, Inc., COVID-19 Mental Health Responders from Masters Psychological Services, as well as Hopeline PH and The 700 Club Asia, to name a few.
The agency also listed its COVID-19 hotlines for regions across the country. It added the helpline numbers would be updated every March and October of the year.
A clearer version of this poster can be viewed here.
“These helplines can provide various ways to support our learners and personnel,” said Director Ronilda Co of DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Service. “They may provide mental health and psychosocial support services, as well as wellness checks.”
In November last year, DepEd came up with suggested measures for an “academic ease” that aimed to reduce stress and anxiety for stakeholders.
But the group Alliance of Concerned Teachers at the time rejected this, saying they need concrete solutions and provisions to address problems under distance learning.
More than 28.21 million Filipino students are enrolled in School Year 2021 to 2022.