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Dads express alarm over spate of suicide cases



COUNCILOR Jose Pepe S. Abbu, Jr. on Monday, said suicide can happen in any setting including at homes, even as he emphasized the importance of recognizing that it is a problem that affects individuals..


The councilor made the manifestation during the 38th regular session presided over by City Vice Mayor Jocelyn B. Rodriguez, in reaction to the special report of Councilor James Judith II concerning the spate of suicide cases at the Marcos Bridge and how it can be prevented. Councilor Judith proposed for the putting up of a net under the bridge.


“Suicide can happen anywhere. It can happen not only by jumping off the bridge, it can happen even inside your room, inside your car, or anywhere. But what’s important is that we try to give importance on this matter”, said Councilor Abbu.


MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS


Citing the city’s Mental Health Code, Councilor Abbu asked if there are psychiatric clinics or offices and mental health professionals in the city that can be possibly tapped to cater to individuals who need debriefing and counseling.


Section 4 of the Code defines that mental health professionals are those persons with formal education and training in mental health and behavioral sciences, such as, but not limited to, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, or psychiatric social workers.


In response, Councilor Maria Lourdes S. Gaane, chair of the City Council committee on health, nutrition, and health insurance, said the city has a functional Acute Psychiatric Unit (APU), which was recently transferred to the House of Hope.


Citing also the limited number of mental health professionals, Councilor Abbu suggested that psychosocial workers who are trained volunteers engaged in mental health promotion and services under the supervision of mental health professionals can also cater to such individuals.


“Since there is a shortage of psychiatrists to cater to this problem probably, we also tap the CSWD kay naa man ta’y mga social worker nga (pwede) mag debriefing,” he opined.


With this, the matter was referred to the committees on health and on social services chaired by Councilors Gaane and Joyleen Mercedes L. Balaba for further discussions.


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