In commemoration of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, the Department of Health (DOH) together with Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc. (J&J) held a webinar designed to emphasize the need to raise awareness around, and destigmatize suicide, to be able to fully address and prevent more suicides from happening.
Some 300 healthcare professionals and other guests came together for the webinar entitled “Tuldok-Kuwit, Sa Halip Na Tuldok: Tara, Usap Tayo!”, which aims to encourage and destigmatize conversations around the topic, and normalize health discussions at a time when stress, anxiety, and other internal struggles make it difficult for many to cope with the challenges they face in their lives.
Moderated by Dr. Myki Manalo, associate medical affairs manager for Neurosciences of Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc., the virtual gathering featured respected speakers in the field of mental health and psychiatry. Dr. Rodney Boncajes talked about theoretical concepts, including the common factors that lead to suicide, interventions to prevent it, and busted prevailing myths. Dr. Bernard Argamosa, the program director of the NCMH 24/7 Crisis Hotline and Wellness Center, spoke about the many DOH and NCMH initiatives to prevent suicide and provide relevant and meaningful interventions, such as the NCMH 24/7 Crisis Hotline. Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho, DOH OIC-Undersecretary – Public Health Services, and Dr. Erwin Benedicto, J&J Southeast Asia medical portfolio director, provided more context on the need to encourage more conversations about suicide in our society, in their opening and closing messages respectively.
“Layunin ng araw na ito na sa pagbibigay ng ganitong impormasyon ay maiwasan ang stigma, o misconception at makapagbigay pa ng tulong sa mga taong nangangailangan nito,” explained Dr. Myki Manalo.
“Working with our partners to encourage conversations and offer education around important medical topics, such as this is important not only to enhance everyone’s personal knowledge, but ultimately to encourage actions that will benefit more Filipinos,” added Dr. Erwin Benedicto, J&J Southeast Asia medical portfolio director.
Individuals who need consultation or know of others who need professional help may contact the NCMH Crisis Hotline by dialing 1553 toll free landline-to-landline, through 02-899-USAP (8727), or through mobile: 0917-899-USAP (8727).