“Speak up, I’m here”
Over a hundred Ilokanos has sought mental health support from Speak Up, I’m Here (SUIM) Center and Hotline, more than two months after its launching.
The SUIM hotline service is a more preferred channel in seeking consultations among clients, serving 90 individuals through phone calls and text messages, and 19 via Facebook Messenger. Meanwhile, some ten (10) clients chose face-to-face consultation.
“Clients, who opted for face-to-face interaction, were provided counseling while complying with health protocols. We also give regular follow-up to callers and clients to make sure that they continuously becoming better,” Mrs. Divina J. Sevilla, SUIM Psychological First Aider, said.
Accordingly, most SUIM clients are from ages 14 to 30 years old with concerns on the maladjustment of the new learning modality, issues on the relationships among family members or partners, financial difficulties, and anxiety or depression.
“We are happy that we were able to alleviate most of our clients’ concerns. We listen to people who are yearning to be heard. If they need further treatment, we refer them to proper institutions like the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center or other agencies,” Mrs. Sevilla added.
Moreover, SUIM has rolled out its mental health caravan in cooperation with all local government units in Ilocos Norte, particularly in areas with high suicide incidence.
The Speak Up, I’m Here Caravan aims to boost mental health awareness among frontline workers in communities, specifically Barangay Captains and Barangay Health Workers; share stress management practices, and inform of the free services of SUIM.
The SUIM Team has already visited the municipalities of Vintar (November 13), Sarrat (November 17), Pasuquin (November 19), and Solsona (November 20) and delivered such services.
“Our schedule at the moment is suspended because of the present situation in Ilocos Norte. We prioritize the safety of our team and our participants. At the same time, we hope that we will conduct this activity in all cities and municipalities,” Mrs. Sevilla ended.