ASIA/PHILIPPINES - The Church offers psychological counseling services to combat the phenomenon of suicides

Saturday, 18 June 2022 psychological counseling   human life   local churches   pandemic  

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - To combat the painful phenomenon of suicides it is necessary to strengthen mental health services in the different communities, encouraging collaboration between the public and private, between the State and Catholic realities: this is what is requested by the Commission for the Pastoral Care of Health within the Conference of Catholic Bishops, noting with concern the increasing number of incidents related to suicide. Camillian Father Dan Cancino, executive secretary of the Commission for the Pastoral Care of Health, insists "for greater attention to mental health services": "This is a project that must be a priority, which appeals to all the institutions ", including ecclesiastical organizations. So far, he notes, some dioceses and parishes have already set up special programs to deal with the mental well-being of people, with psychological support services". This is how the Church takes care of her flock", he says. The Bishops asked parents to help their children and parish priests, especially in cases where young people suffer from depression. "The whole community - the Church, the schools, the family, the associations - must face together the alarm of mental health. It takes a village to raise a child. Therefore, all institutions should do their part offering counseling and guidance," the priest said. Some dioceses have already set up psychological counseling and referral centers for people with mental health issues for the duration of the pandemic. According to experts, the phenomenon is also on the increase due to the difficult social and economic conditions and the wounds left by the pandemic. As announced in recent days, parishes are urged to set up mental health centers in local communities to provide mental and spiritual support to those in need. The National Center for Mental Health has reported about 2,000 suicide cases for 2021. The National Statistics Authority found that suicides increased by almost 30% in the first quarter of 2022. Data shows that suicide is the 27th leading cause of death in the country in 2020, especially in the 30-40 age group. (SD/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 18/6/2022)