Philippines Alarmed As Suicide Rate Continue to Increase Amid Pandemic

As the Philippines try to curb the spike of Covid-19 cases, it is also grappling with the increased number of suicides.

Uncommon sighting within the streets of a metro in the Philippines. O.I. for The Subic Bay Times
The Subic Bay Times
September 5, 2020

The first modern pandemic continues to diverge people's lives into a staggering state. The Government's National Task Force (N.T.F.) against Covid-19 is alarmed by the increased number of suicides, looking for support from churches and spiritual leaders in providing counsel and guidance to their members and followers suffering from depression due to loss of employment or livelihood, anxiety of being afflicted with or dying from the dreaded disease, loneliness arising from isolation, and lack of hope for a return to their normal lives. Menardo Guevarra, a member of the country's Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (I.A.T.F.), said he had received a call from its chief implementer Carlito Galvez, who described the rate of suicides in the Philippines as "alarming." "I call on our respected religious leaders to please shepherd your flock. We are in a very difficult situation. The pandemic is a problem that cannot be resolved only by science or any government. We need faith and spiritual nourishment, too," Mr. Gueverra said. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) revealed a study stating that mental health-related concerns and disorders in the Philippines had "drastically" increased. One of the main causes of mental health related issues within the Philippines is loneliness. Due to a considerable number of days of being isolated, the first effects would be loneliness. Although, some people define loneliness as a sign that a person is in desperate need of themself. For the past few months, mental health authorities in the Philippines have been receiving at least 50 calls per month related to suicide. The study of W.H.O. states that "Thinking of whether life will ever return to normal, and how one will survive amid the pandemic, are some of the questions making ordinary Filipinos very anxious." Churches in the Philippines are saying that Mass and other spiritual services are essential during this pandemic, or during times of isolation. Meanwhile, in a Manila slum, Covid-19 infections are much easily transmitted. That's a problem. But, another problem is people living within that area have a dark place that makes it harder for people to cope with mental health issues. In those places, food shortages, overcrowding, poor sanitation, different crimes were common even before the virus came. That situation is a nightmare according to the people that live there. Now that the pandemic hits harder, they may be seeing little to no signs of surviving.


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