The number of suicides in the country has increased, making suicide the 27th leading cause of death in the Philippines.
Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), suicide deaths climbed to 3,529 in 2020, or 26% higher than 2,808 suicides in 2019.
According to the PSA study, the number of deaths in the Philippines from January to December 2020 does not include Filipinos who committed suicide abroad.
According to experts, the anxiety caused by the pandemic has affected most Filipinos causing mental health problems.
This has been seen in the increase in the number of calls to helplines, fully-booked consultation schedules, and the increase in self-relieving and stress-relieving activities.
Psychologist Randy Dellosa said that many Filipinos are getting sick and trying to consider the ‘new normal’ even though in reality the country is in an abnormal condition today.
As many as 3.6 million Filipinos suffer from mental health problems but do not want to consult because of the pandemic.
According to the National Mental Health Program Frances Prescilla Cuevas, nearly 1,145,871 people suffer from depressive disorders.
Health experts earlier said that the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines could be driven by pandemic fatigue.
According to Dellosa, pandemic fatigue is the physical, mental and emotional exhaustion due to enduring the situation under a pandemic.
He said this results in some changes in a person’s life as follows:
Suicide deaths in PH increase amid pandemic – PSA
“Pandemic fatigue is also about desperately wanting to regain the previous “normal” but feeling helpless for it to happen,” he added.
According to the expert, the manifestation of pandemic fatigue can be seen in some feelings such as the following:
In August 2020, Cagayan De Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez urged the government to hire more psychiatrists, guidance counselors, psychologists, and mental health professionals to help Filipinos cope with the mental concerns brought by the COVID-19 crisis.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, meanwhile, called on churches and spiritual leaders to give counsel and guidance to their members who are experiencing mental health problems amid the COVID-19 pandemic.