DEALING WITH ANXIETIES. A member of the mental health and psychosocial support services response team from Northern Samar counseling landslide survivors in Baybay City. The Northern Samar provincial government has sent a team to landslide-hit towns in Leyte on Tuesday(April 19, 2022) to provide psychosocial services to survivors. (Photo courtesy of Northern Samar provincial government)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Northern Samar provincial government has sent a team to Baybay City and Abuyog, Leyte this week to provide psychosocial services to help landslide survivors overcome their trauma due to "Agaton's" disaster.

The local government announced on Wednesday that its three-member mental health and psychosocial support services response team started their support intervention for 38 survivors in Bunga and Makinhas villages in Baybay City on Tuesday.

“Northern Samar, being a typhoon-prone area as well, immediately responded to the Department of Health call for help, to treat and prevent mental health problems that the disaster has caused and may further cause to residents of these flooded and landslide-hit barangays,” the provincial government said in its update sent to reporters.

Northern Samar government sees the need to help reduce the survivors’ anxiety brought by the traumatic event, promote a sense of safety, and regain social connectedness or trust while also conveying the message of hope that amidst life’s adversities, blessings still await.

The team will conclude its intervention in Abuyog town on Thursday.

Ninfa Kam, the Northern Samar provincial health officer, immediately authorized the dispatch of the team to Leyte to conduct the much-needed mental health support services to the affected communities.

“For some years now, it has been the practice of the provincial government, under (Governor) Edwin Ongchuan, to extend relief assistance and other forms of support which include mental health and psychosocial services, to areas affected by calamities even outside Northern Samar,” Kam said in a statement.

Heavy rains dumped by Tropical Depression Agaton have triggered landslides in Baybay City and Abuyog, Leyte last week, leaving more than 170 people dead and about 100 missing. (PNA)