Manila, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) joins the rest of the global community in celebrating today, World Health Day (WHD) with the theme: “DEPRESSION - Let’s Talk” and even interjecting its own sub-theme, “It’s OK not to be OK. Express Yourself. Let’s Talk”.
The number of people living with depression has grown by 18% between 2005 and 2015. It now threatens many adolescents in making them realize a stable future free from DEPRESSION and actively avoid its fatal consequence – suicides.
“DEPRESSION can happen to anyone,” Health Secretary Ubial explains. The feeling of sadness coupled with losing interest in things one usually enjoy often times being unable to carrying out ordinary daily tasks and lasting more than two weeks, are the tell-tale signs one most likely is suffering from DEPRESSION. Secretary Ubial further explains that DEPRESSION is not a sign of weakness.
That it is why everyone who feels this way and even those who are living with or knows someone with DEPRESSION should face the problem head on by TALKING about it. Any person talking to a person living with depression should not be judgmental and watch out for cues when there are thoughts of suicide.
The good news is DEPRESSION can both be prevented and treated. With a better understanding of what depression is and how to effectively respond to it, the stigma attached to it is certainly reduced and it encourages more people to come forward and seek appropriate medical treatment.
Today, the WHO WPRO leads the rest of the region in marking the WHD celebration at their Headquarters. Also, the St. Paul University of Manila features a stage play entitled, “Suicide Incorporated,” a play discussing mental health issues such as the dangers of depression, coping with loss, guilt and redemption aiming to shed light on the issue at hand.
Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said, “Each one of us has a role to play in addressing mental health challenges in the country today. I, therefore, encourage everyone to do his or her part to arrest this problem by showing compassion and understanding to the vulnerable members of our society.”
“Better yet reach out these HOPELINE numbers: 2919 (toll free), 0917-HOPE (4673) and 02-558-(HOPE) and Let’s TALK,” Secretary Ubial ended.