Features

What You Need To Know About Depression And The Country’s Mental Health State

According to the Department of Health (DOH), depression is one of the most common health problems among youth around the world.
IMAGE pexels.com

In the Philippines, depression is one of the most common mental health concerns, especially among the younger generations. Over the years, the country has made progress in terms of creating awareness and taking action towards mental health issues, but we still have ways to go. 

Depression by the numbers

According to the Department of Health (DOH), depression is one of the most common health problems among youth around the world. In the Philippines, 3.3 percent of the population suffered from depressive disorders in 2012. In 2015, DOH conducted the Global School-Based Student Health Survey among high school students aged 13 to 15 years old, and 11.5 percent of those participants “had seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months before the survey.” The same survey found that 11.1 percent of participants had made plans on attempting suicide while 17 percent had attempted it. 

What exactly is depression?

Depressive disorders manifest in various forms, which include the classic condition called major depressive disorder. Other forms include dysthymia (or persistent depressive disorder), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, among others.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Depressive disorders are commonly characterized by the presence of sad, empty, or irritable mood which often comes with changes in bodily and intellectual processes that significantly impair the normal day-to-day functioning of an individual. According to the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), the nine symptoms of depression are: 

CONTINUE READING BELOW
Recommended Videos
  1. Depressed mood
  2. Disruption in sleeping patterns (suffering from either inability to sleep or excessive sleepiness)
  3.  Decreased interest or pleasure
  4.  Feelings of worthlessness
  5. Loss of energy or fatigue
  6.  Difficulty concentrating or thinking, or indecisiveness
  7.  Changes in appetite or weight
  8.  Psychomotor disturbance
  9. Recurrent suicidal thoughts

Important note: Careful consideration must be made to distinguish depression from normal feelings of sadness. In depression, symptoms exist nearly every day for a duration of at least two weeks and cause significant distress or impairment in social or occupational aspects of the individual. If you are experiencing any of these, it is advisable that you consult with a professional for proper diagnosis.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Mental health initiatives in the Philippines

In the country, various movements and organizations have been established to bring light to the nation’s mental health situation.

NCMH

The National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) is a government-established hospital which offers preemptive, restorative, and rehabilitative psychiatric services for Filipinos battling with mental health issues. NCMH was founded in 1925 under the Public Works Act 3258 and operates under the Department of Health. Its previous names include the Insular Psychopathic Hospital and National Mental Hospital before being renamed to National Center for Mental Health.

Mental Health Act

In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act 11036, also referred to as the Mental Health Law. Its author and principal sponsor is Senator Risa Hontiveros, but it was also authored by Senators Vicente Sotto III, Loren Legarda, Antonio Trillanes IV, Paolo Begino Aquino IV, Juan Edgardo Angara, and Joel Villanueva.

The fulfillment of a law governing mental health is a huge milestone for the country. Its primary goal is to offer more affordable and attainable psychiatric services for those in need, regardless of their socio-economic status. 

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Hopeline

Hopeline was created by the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation as a 24/7 suicide prevention and crisis support helpline. In 2016, the DOH, together with NCMH, incorporated Hopeline into their mental health campaign. Three years later, Hopeline announced that they will be ceasing operations following the withdrawal of support from both DOH and NCMH. However, Hopeline made a subsequent statement to clarify that, with the help of NGOs and individual donors, they will continue with operation despite DOH and NCMH’s withdrawal from the initiative.

Mental health initiatives in schools

Given that the youth make up a considerable percentage of the population significantly affected by mental health issues, various schools have taken action to not only expand students’ understanding about the experiences they’re going through but also help them cope and promote mental well-being.

Ateneo de Manila University

Ateneo’s student government Sanggunian launched a Commission on Mental Health which seeks to provide ways for Ateneans to share and ask for help regarding their mental health concerns. One of their initiatives is the Mental Health Awareness Week, created in partnership with student organizations Ateneo Psyche and Ateneo PEERS, which initiates various week-long activities and campaigns to help promote knowledge about mental health issues, particularly ones the students themselves are experiencing.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Ateneo is also home to the Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychological Services, which serves as the service and research arm of the university’s Psychology Department. It is named in honor of Fr. Jaime C. Bulatao, SJ, a Jesuit who established Ateneo’s Psychology Department in 1960 and served as one of the founders of the Psychological Association of the Philippines. Ateneo Bulatao Center offers assessment, counseling, and therapy, and intends to nurture psychological wellness in and outside of the institution. 

De La Salle University

In 2019, De La Salle University – Dasmariñas’ Student Wellness Center and the Psychology Department's Center for Applied Psychology launched their first Mental Health Youth Summit which intends to educate the students about the significance of mental health. The said summit is required for freshmen in order to instill its advocacy early on in their college life.

Far Eastern University

In a story by CNN Philippines, Far Eastern University (FEU) Director for Guidance and Counseling Sheila Marie Hocson stated that freshman students are being educated about how to recognize symptoms of mental health issues. Aside from mental health, they are also opening discourse about sexual harassment, bullying, and HIV awareness. In addition, Hocson mentioned that a referral system is put into place within the school, where peers and faculty members alike may refer a student to their office if they display signs like absenteeism, lack of energy, abusive behavior, sleepiness in class, lack of personal hygiene, low self-esteem, or poor academic performance. They also offer to refer students to psychiatrists should they identify telltale signs of mental health concerns.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

University of the Philippines

In 2018, the University of the Philippines Diliman officially hired their first resident psychiatrist. The University Health Service (UHS) only had psychiatric consultants prior to hiring Dr. Dinah Palmera P. Nadera for the part-time position. According to Dr. Nadera, the most common concerns she has been consulted by students for were persistent anxiety, depressed mood, and lack of focus and concentration, among others. As part of the UHS medical staff, Dr. Nadera will be offering her services for free to students and to the academic and non-academic staff of the university.

How to help someone with depression

We consulted with Alyda Yasmin A. Keh, MA, RPsy, a consulting psychologist at the Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychological Services, for guidelines on how to talk to a friend or classmate with depression.

Let them know that they are not alone. The last thing we want is to make someone struggling with depression feel like they don’t have anyone to approach. Encourage them to talk about how they are feeling and what thoughts are running through their minds.  This will allow you to know if they are thinking of harming themselves so that you can get them professional help. If the person is not ready to talk, respect their privacy and let them know that they can talk about it when they feel more ready.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Reassure them that they aren’t alone by telling them that they can text or call you should they feel like they want to talk.  Sometimes, you might take time to respond but assure them that you will reach them once you are able to. Do not make promises you cannot fulfill.

Check up on them regularly. More than telling the person that you’re there for them, show them that you really are. Ask them how they’re doing from time to time. Doing so reassures them that you’re thinking of them and that you’re staying true to your word.

Just remember, it’s not just about talking, but also about listening. Sometimes, the fact that someone is there to listen to your concerns is already comforting enough. Remember to be non-judgmental. You are there to hear them out, not to tell them what they should think or feel. You don’t have to respond with solutions—doing so might be counter-productive and won’t help the person at all. Instead, just simply hear them out and pay attention to what they’re saying.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

 Encourage them to talk to a professional. At the end of the day, there’s only so much we can do for someone dealing with mental health concerns. It’s still best to seek and receive professional help. What you can do is to perhaps recommend trusted professionals you may know of or offer to go with them to appointments if they want company.

Depression as the “invisible illness”

Depression is real, but it isn’t always easily recognizable in a person, which is why many still misconstrue the condition as something that is “all in the head.” It may seem like all is well with that bubbly classmate who always makes the funniest remarks during class, but deep inside, they may be struggling with depressive episodes that manifest in subtle and different ways. This shows how important it is to pay attention to the people around us, as well as to our own internal mental state.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, here are some important numbers and websites in the Philippines:

Crisis Line (for non-sectarian, non-judgmental telephone counseling):

Landline: (02) 893-7603

Globe Duo: 0917-8001123 / 0917-5067314

Sun Double Unlimited: 0922-8938944 / 0922-3468776

www.in-touch.org

Center for Family Ministries (for spiritual counseling):

www.cefam.ph

Landline: (02) 426-4289 to 92

Ateneo Bulatao Center

Landine: (02) 426-5982

E-mail: bulataocenter.ls@ateneo.edu

Online resources for mental health and suicide prevention:

www.suicide.org

www.iasp.info

www.afsp.org

www.befrienders.org

www.imalive.org

www.thehopeline.com

www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

your REACTION
HEART

5

BOO

1

CUTE

1

EWW

0

OMG

0

YAY

0

/////////////////////////////
COMMENTS. JOIN THE DISCUSSION BELOW!
Comments
About the author
Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
VIEW OTHER ARTICLES FROM Mylene

Candy Bulletin

Welcome!
What're you up to today? Submit your OOTD, fanfic, essay, school project, org event, a pic of your latest hobby, or anything you want to be posted on the Candy Bulletin page!
Reminder: Posts will be subject for approval by the Candy team, and may be shared on our online channels. Plagiarism and copyright infringement are strictly prohibited. Only original work must be submitted.
Hi, you!
*1st 15 seconds will be uploaded
*File size limit (up to 60MB)
*File size limit (up to 60MB)
or
Upload Video
*For the direct video upload option, only the first 15 seconds of the video will be uploaded
*File size limit (up to 60MB)
Photo
Video
SoundCloud

By submitting your post, you agree to Candymag's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Thank you for submitting your post.
You will be notified via email once your entry has been approved by the Candy team.

Submitted posts will be subject to the approval of the Candy Team.

A few reminders:

  1. Candy Bulletin is an online platform where users can upload original work, personal passion projects, and other forms of self-expression, for the purpose of sharing with the community.
  2. You can upload photos of your curated OOTDs, 15-second videos, essays, poems, and more, as long as the submitted work is original, follows copyright laws, and free of any nudity, pornography, or profanity.
  3. You are encouraged to comment on one another's posts, as long as everyone remains respectful.
Submit Another Post
latest on CandyMag.com
 
x
Share
Inka opens up about what it's like to be a voice over artist (despite being dyslexic!).
 
x
Share
 
x
Share
 
x
Share
 
x
Share
K-pop has music that's just as good and worthy of a listen as your favorite Western artists' songs.
 
x
Share
As the old saying goes, "You never know what you have until it's gone."
 
x
Share
There are other spots around the house that might actually deserve a place on your curated Insta feeds
LOAD MORE ARTICLES
Bulletin
A community page where you can share your feels and show your skills! Learn more here

To the Person Who Does Not Know Any 1D Song

By: CJ Reyno

Never in my wildest dream I imagined to meet someone who does not know a single One Direction song or who does not even know, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and err… Zayn Malik. How did you spend your teenagehood without listening to their songs? The disrespect to my #StyPayHorLikSon. My initial reaction, Vas Happenin’?

Since I was 12 years old, that was way back on 2012, One Direction songs have been my official life soundtrip, my go-to songs whenever I feel happy, sad, mad, excited, and etch. I can still remember how people went crazy just to attend their concert here in the Philippines. I must admit, I was one of those. LOL. The group was also dubbed as, “The Biggest Boyband in the World”. They were an era. You really left me in awe when you told me that you do not know a single One Direction song. Their songs are gold. But I was a little hopeful when a new messaged popped up on our conversation, “Hey I know one, Make You Beautiful”.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

You do not know how my world collapsed after reading your message. I would like to say that I appreciate the effort, thanks, but they do not have a song entitled, Make You Beautiful, because it is, What Makes You Beautiful. I tried to explain but you said that they are just the same. (Tip: Never fight with a Directioner when it comes to this because we will not let our guards down). No! They are not the same. How can you make this big mistake? LOL. What Makes You Beautiful is One Direction’s debut song. Almost everyone knows this, “you’re insecure, don’t know what for,” ring a bell? The music video of this surpassed 1 billion views on Youtube. On my 21 years of existence, you are the very first person who told me this “I-Thought-It-Was-A-Joke-But-You-Are-Serious” statement.

CONTINUE READING BELOW
Recommended Videos

As a persuasive fangirl, I thought to myself that I should make you appreciate their music, that you should know that it is What Makes You Beautiful, not Make You Beautiful. The group may be in hiatus but their music is and will always remain superior. You are hard-headed lad. We even when to the point where you challenged me to treat so I can make you watch their music video. Am I even surprised that I agreed to this? HAHA. I feel like an agent trying to persuade her customer to buy a property on our company. You do not know how happy I was when you sent me your video listening to What Makes You Beautiful. I felt like I successfully closed a deal with my client. Not to exaggerate but I really jumped because of happiness after watching your video. It was the first message I checked that morning. Thank you for your effort, so much appreciated. Funny how our conversation starts with your innocence on One Direction until it goes deeper and last longer. Up All Nigh conversations which turned to almost Midnight Memories. Ironic how a Directioner had developed an admiration on someone who dislikes her favorite boys? Just like One Direction’s song, Change My Mind, “Never felt like this before. Are we friends or are we more?” I guess, like Liam’s line on Love You Goodbye, “It's inevitable everything that's good comes to an end. It's impossible to know if after this we can still be friends.”

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

I was happy that I made you listen to One Direction. At least I made you appreciate and made you aware that there is a song called, What Makes You Beautiful, not Make You Beautiful. I am happy that you already found your Girl Almighty. Wish me luck on finding my Summer Love. xoxo, Your Directioner friend

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
your REACTION
Pick a sticker to view stories by reaction!
/////////////////////////////
CONNECT WITH US