Legazpi City— The Department of Health in Bicol reported over 70 incidence of suicide cases during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Windalyn G. Baluis, DOH Bicol regional program coordinator for mental health said that over 70 of suicide cases were reported in the Bicol region since the beginning of 2021.

In a dialogue with the media on Wednesday, Windalyn G. Baluis, DOH regional program coordinator for mental health said that the more than 70 suicide cases are based on the reports of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Bicol.

To prevent this figure from increasing, Baluis discussed the importance of exercising caution when reporting sensitive topics that include mental health and suicide.

Baluis underscored the role of the media in the prevention and control of suicide. She stated that sensationalizing suicide cases may result in imitative suicide.

“Take extra caution in reporting suicide, such as in using photographs and video footage, in order to prevent imitative suicide,” she said.

“Likewise, with the presence of social media, she urged the public to have social responsibility in posting sensitive information, such as those related to suicide.

Baluis said during the Observance of World Suicide Prevention Day that suicide prevention efforts require coordination and collaboration among multiple sectors, such as health, education, labor, justice, and media.

She also stated that the most at-risk person to commit suicide are those who have mental disorders; those experiencing crisis such as financial, health, relationship; those in conflict due to disasters, violence, abuse or loss; and those belonging to vulnerable groups.

“To address suicidal thoughts, one must connect with others and be given assistance if experiencing severe symptoms of mental disorders. Health facilities and local health units offer services for mental health care, such as free assessment and management for mental health problems,” Baluis said.

In line with the observance of the World Suicide Prevention Day, the Department of Health Bicol Center for Health Development (DOH Bicol CHD) strongly urged the local government units (LGUs) and the public to be responsible in reporting cases of suicide.

“This is part of the promotion of mental health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bicol CHD continuously promotes mental health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when individuals from all sectors are affected with the changes it has caused,” the health official said. (By: Raneza Sabina Barcebal)

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