By Jennifer P. Rendon
Iloilo province registered the most number of suicide incidents in Western Visayas for two consecutive years.
Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) records indicated that Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) logged 82 cases from January to September 2019 and 94 cases in January to December 2020.
The 2019 suicide cases are 30.25 percent of the region’s 271 total incidents while the 2020 figure accounted for 28.4 percent of the 331 suicide cases.
Negros Occidental registered 66 cases in the nine-month period in 2019 and 77 in 2020.
On third spot is Capiz province with 42 and 36, respectively, while Aklan has 10 in 2019 and 40 in 2020.
Antique has 25 and 24 cases respectively; Bacolod City has 16 and 18 incidents; Guimaras has 13 and 25 cases; and Iloilo City with 17 and 16 cases.
Colonel Gilbert Gorero, Iloilo police chief, earlier said that suicide incidents have been alarming, since it even exceeded the number of deaths related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Addressing mental health is not easy, Gorero said.
“We need experts on this and the community’s understanding to deal with the problem,” he said.
Meanwhile, for the first two months of 2021, Negros Occidental already recorded 16 incidents while Iloilo and Capiz have 10 cases each.
Antique has 8 cases; Aklan with 5; Iloilo City with 4; and Bacolod City and Guimaras with 2 each.
While women showed more tendency to suffer depression and attempt to end their lives, completed suicide are higher among men.
Globally, statistics would show that suicide in men is three to four times higher than that of females.
There could be several factors that could drive one to end his or her life, but severe depression is still the most common.
There could be other factors and illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and even eating disorder.
Authorities have acknowledged that people sometimes attempt suicide not necessarily because they want to die.
Instead, they just don’t know how and where to get help.
Since 2013, World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is being observed every September 10 to promote awareness in a bid to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world.
In the Philippines, the passage of Republic Act 11036 (The Mental Health Law) was seen to address growing concerns on mental health and suicide incidents.
The law proposes a mental health policy that aims to enhance integrated mental health services, the promotion of mental health services, protection of people who use said services, and the establishment of a Philippine mental health council.
The Department of Health has established suicide prevention hotlines in the country.
For those who need help, they could call 0917-899-8727 (USAP) and 0917-989-8727 (USAP).
The suicide prevention hotline of the Center for Health Development – Western Visayas:
WVSUMC – 3202431 loc. 162 or 209
WVMC – 3211797 loc. 186
PMHU – 5298109