DOH 7 lauds Tawag Paglaum’s role in countering suicide in CV

CEBU CITY, Sept. 18 (PIA)–The government lauds Tawag paglaum and the Chief Psychiatrist of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), Dr. Renato Obra assures that Tawag Paglaum or known as Hopeline Cebu is very much open to the public 24/7.

Tawag Paglaum (TP) is a suicide prevention hotline that caters to callers who have attempted to take their lives or those who have thoughts of committing suicide.

TP is one of the initiatives of the Department of Health (DOH) in countering the alarming suicide cases in Central Visayas (CV).

Obra said most of the suicide cases in the Philippines come from this said region.

During the weekly Association of Government Information Officers (AGIO) Forum, Obra shared the current situation of suicide in the region, in time of the commemoration of the Suicide Prevention Month, held every September. 

“We receive an overwhelming number of callers in TP, these days. Most of our callers just want to have someone who’ll listen to their problems,” Obra shared.

According to him, about 102 suicide cases were recorded in Central Visayas (CV) for the first semester of 2018. Most cases tallied during the month of June. The age of suicide victims range from 15-30 years old.

Obra said that for every five suicide cases, four of the victims are men, while one victim is a woman. He also noted that the bridges connecting the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu are frequent places where victims commit suicide.

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Contrary to notions that depression causes most suicide attempts, Obra said that it is not the case in CV.

He said that relational problems cause most suicide cases in CV.

Obra advised the public, especially those who are experiencing problems to talk to someone they can share their situation with. He however warned that that person should be someone trustworthy, can empathize and someone who can keep confidential information.

Obra believes that when someone shares about his or her problem, this can help them ease their burden.

He guaranteed the public that TP respondents will always be available for clients and assured that TP callers’ identity are safe in the hands of their respondents.

Other causes of suicide are mood problems, brought by hormonal imbalance, that is possibly caused by depression.

Among the other leading causes of suicide are financial and medical problems.

“Humans are naturally emotional beings. It is natural for us to feel sad, to be depressed, only if there’s a reason. That is not a disorder. However, if these emotions affect your daily activities and the way you socialize, this may lead to a disorder, worse depression,” Obra said.

Luckily, there are antidepressant medicines available at the DOH facilities, that can help normalize the imbalance of the neurotransmitter of the brain, specifically the serotonin and dopamine.

Apart from TP hotline, the government has also invested in providing medicines to victims of depression, to help them recover. (Karla Madrio/PIA7)

Source: PIA Feed