HomeDiocesan ReportsBicol diocese intensifies efforts aimed at suicide prevention

Bicol diocese intensifies efforts aimed at suicide prevention

Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi noted a sudden rise in suicide cases during the coronavirus pandemic

A Catholic diocese south of Manila is intensifying efforts to address the increasing rates of depression and suicide in the province of Albay.

Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi said the diocese has taken proactive measures to confront the “phenomenon” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the diocese is not exempt from the “sad effects” of the health crisis, especially to people’s mental health.

“A sudden rise of (suicide) cases made us decide to intensify efforts at addressing this phenomenon,” Bishop Baylon said.

In one town alone, he noted that there were about nine young people who committed suicide recently.

Even before the pandemic, the diocese has already established a counseling center run by its Commission on Family and Life.

Amid the surge in suicide cases, the diocese sought the help of mental health care professionals to provide direct assistance and intervention.

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These experts, he said, also have a radio program to help raise awareness and proper understanding of suicide and its related issues like anxiety and depression.

“We have also partnered with government health care agencies in this regard,” the bishop said.

The local church, Bishop Baylon added, has also organized a series of webinars in several parishes to help in information dissemination.

“Now part of the diocese’s response is to gather a group of professionals and volunteers in every parish, and put up a committee on mental health so these issues could be addressed,” he said.

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