CITING the worsening mental health situation in Baguio City and the recent noted rise in suicide cases in the city, Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong has ordered the creation of a task force specifically to address mental health issues among locals.
The task force, headed by the Baguio City Health Services Office (CHSO), is set to be the implementing force of the Baguio City Mental Health Council (BCMHC), which is the body creating policies for the mental health situation in the city.
Magalong also tapped the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to aid the CHSO in surveying suicide cases as far back as 2017 to see if there are environmental factors that push individuals toward commitingsuicide.
“I want to understand the characteristics of these places so we can come up with better solutions. We might need to do structural redesigning of our facilities,” the mayor said.
Additionally, the city is conducting capacity building activities to strengthen peer counseling programs especially for the academe as well as information, education and communication (IEC) campaigns to address mental health concerns, among others.
Here are the helplines to call in case of emergency: CHSO – 0919 069 6361; Mental Health and Wellness Unit – (074 ) 661 7910; Baguio General Hospital & Medical Center Psychiatric Department – 0919 207 0736; Benguet General Hospital & Medical Center Psychiatric Department – 0917 899 8727, 0966 351 4518, 0908 639 2672; National Center for Mental Health – 0995 093 2679, 0918 402 9832; Philippine Mental Health Association Cordillera Chapter Inc.- 0917 517 2083 and (074)442 2337.