At least 3.6 million Filipinos are battling mental health issues in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Philippines’ Department of Health said at least 1.14 million Filipinos have depression, 847,000 are battling alcohol-use disorders, and 520,000 others were diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
“This is a figure that’s underreported because it only tackles a few of the conditions,” said Dr. Frances Prescilla Cuevas of the Health department’s Disease Prevention and Control Bureau.
She also said a study done by the department found that one in every three COVID-19 patients was diagnosed with neuropsychiatric condition six months after being infected with the disease.
“The coronavirus pandemic is inducing a considerable degree of fear, worry, and concern,” said Cuevas.
“Psychological impact includes elevated rates of stress or anxiety,” she said, adding that “a lot of adult Filipinos are highly stressed.”
The health officials said the pandemic “has a great impact on the psychological issues” faced by some people.
Data from the Health department showed that its mental health crisis hotline received 1,805 calls — 200 calls higher than the 1,604 calls recorded in March.
At least 31 percent of the calls were related to anxiety and depressive symptoms.
The same hotline registered a monthly average of 289 suicide-related calls between January and February this year.