LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte – Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc is spearheading the launch of the “Speak up, I’m Here” mental health movement to help address the increasing number of psychological-related incidents in the province amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc (Facebook / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)
Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc (Facebook / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

Manoto is leading the campaign due to the alarming number of suicides reported in the past months in the province.

“Speak up, I’m here” aims to expand the service delivery network to address mental health issues, encourage positive psychological practices, try to prevent suicide and improve mental health situations, and decrease mental health-related incidents.

On October 1, the implementing offices, the Communications and Media Office, the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office, Gender and Development Office, and the Provincial Public Employment Service Office will commence a series of activities under the movement.

These include face-to-face consultations, uploading videos on mental health, symposia or webinars, and opening a 24/7 hotline service for residents who seek professional mental advice.

A mental health center will put up in the Gov. Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital to provide psychological consultations to in-patients, especially those who tested positive for COVID-19.

The provincial government will launch a helpline to make mental health support services more accessible and available.

Manotoc also said the provincial government will partner with certified counseling professionals across the province to be part of the helpline team and administer psychological crisis interventions.

“Let’s lend a helping hand while we can…Let’s look after all of those around us This is a dark time for some people, but rest assured that there are sunny days ahead. To everyone, kapit lang, kaya natin ‘to. This, too, shall pass,” Manotoc said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (