Reaching Out for Social Support

DAVAO DEL NORTE May 15 (PIA) - Due to COVID-19, people all over the world have been forced to live in such unfamiliar living conditions, and adapt to a way of living that is abruptly new.

Before the existence of the virus, most adults went to work, where they earn income. They are used to an everyday routine of leaving the house at 8 in the morning and coming home at 5 in the evening.

Similarly, kids and teens were students who are used to going to school in the morning and coming home in the afternoon. Most of them often found joy in going outside and meeting with friends.

Being productive, going out, interacting with people, this is the life people are used to.

With the community quarantine being implemented all over the world out of necessity, millions of people have lost jobs, are stuck at home, and are living in uncertainty of when will the pandemic end.

For a generation that is already called the “anxious generation”, people have become even more vulnerable to further anxiety as they adapt to the new normal of staying home, of keeping physical distance, of wearing facemasks while their mobility is restricted.

Guesting in the “Pakigsayod” Radio 911 program,  Gift Ryan Damolo, Mental Health coordinator of  the City Health Office (CHO) Tagum cited two cases of suicide suspected to be induced by financial struggles, believed to be amplified by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

He explained that people, especially males, are pressured to find a way to make money, which they cannot freely do so because of mobility restrictions and job loss, thereby, causing mental anxiety.

In these trying times, it is beneficial to “reach out for social support” said Rae Katherine Apura, Health Education Promotion Officer of CHO Tagum. 

Either through family members, friends, or peers, having social interaction and an outlet for social support is important, she said.

As well, “minimizing” the use of social media and being selective at consuming information is a good way to “safeguard” yourself from additional anxiety, Apura added.

Acknowledging the importance of mental health, Provincial Mental Health Coordinator, Doris S. Sobremisana said that the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte has put effort in giving such support by getting on calls with persons under monitoring (PUMs) to make sure they’re doing well.

The three guests of “Pakigsayod” radio program were one in pointing out the need to relieve the anxiety that COVID-19 global pandemic has spawned by reaching for social support or offering it especially to people who are isolated  and those who are vulnerable. (PIA XI/ Jan Vincent Leuterio)

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