ZAMBOANGA CITY--A Department of Health (DOH) official in Region 9 warned that the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has brought another health crisis that is now affecting many Filipinos.

Dr. Joshua Brillantes, DOH-9 assistant director, said Wednesday that losses in jobs and livelihood have affected mental health, leading to widespread psychological trauma, fear, depression, and even suicides.

“This is important especially at this time there is Covid-19 where there are a lot of Filipinos who lost their jobs. These financial problems will lead to psychological stress and mental health problems,” Brillantes said.

Brillantes emphasized the need for affected individuals to be open with their problems and seek guidance from experts to help them cope with and face the problem.

Brillantes’ warning came about as the country observed “Mental Health Week” from October 5 to 11.

“Our office is very much willing to provide counseling and guidance to anybody whose mental health is affected by the pandemic. They can call us on our hotline numbers (062)9830933 and cellphone no. 09750741340.

He expressed worry about the sufferings being experienced by those affected and are still untreated.

He said the latest studies indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic is associated with distress, anxiety, fear of contagion, depression, and insomnia in the general population and among health care professionals.

Brillantes said that the Covid-19 crisis may increase suicide rates during and after the pandemic, underscoring the importance of traditional and social media campaigns to promote mental health and reduce distress. (PNA)