DAVAO CITY – The city government has partnered with the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) and the Department of Education (DepEd) to raise awareness of suicide as it intensified its campaign in Davao schools.

In a television interview Wednesday, PMHA chapter executive manager Teofilo Lumikid said they conducted a seminar last week to provide additional knowledge and guidance to DepEd personnel.

“The objective is awareness, especially those who are in the front lines, and these front-liners are those who are from the DepEd,” Lumikid said

Data from the city health office last year showed 53 cases of suicide in this city, with a nine-year-old as the youngest victim.

From January to April this year, 29 cases have already been recorded.

Dr. Luis Antonio Flores, the head of the Mental Wellness Center (MWC), noted that most of the suicide cases in the city stem from mental health problems like severe depression and anxiety.

“These had not been given immediate attention. Once an individual is depressed, all of their systems are down, even their mood is unstable,” he said.

Flores also said that severe depression can also cause psychosis.

“Once there is psychosis, there is hallucination. There is a high tendency that the depression will lead to suicide or self-harm,” he added.

Last year, the city government opened the MWC for mentally challenged homeless individuals together with an outpatient counseling service center. (PNA)