When thoughts speak, listen

By: Kate Julianne L. Larroder

(The author is a student leader and a campus journalist)

It is often true that you could never tell whether one is hiding the severe and stabbing pains and heartaches behind the smiles. There are people who do not take depression seriously as they think that the individuals who go through these kinds of situations have the tendencies to exaggerate and over-state their emotions by being gloomy and moped all day long. There are also the types of depressed individuals who try to be happy by wearing smiles on their faces despite troubling issues that play on and linger inside their heads. These troubled individuals endeavor to do battle or pay no heed to the demons inside and attempt to continue to live in the moment but almost always the pains and troubles persistently present themselves at the end of each and every day.

With 67 records of death caused by suicide in the span of nine months in the Province of Iloilo, the mental health crisis continues to worsen with no signs of abatement in sight. In these nine months, the figure of suicide deaths surpassed the total figure for all twelve months of 2018. This proves that mental health awareness have not reached each and everyone in Iloilo including the institutional agencies of the government. Due to the gravity of the present social malady and entanglement, our province must, without any inordinate delay, put up institutional support for mental healthcare delivery to directly remedy this seemingly critical mental plague.

Anxiety attacks are serious and an individual cannot battle the demons inside his head all alone. It is best to seek help and treatment while every troubling mental aspect is still tolerable and preventable and the individual is not yet on the verge of suicidal thoughts. A depressed individual undergoes the stage called auto-pilot where an attempt of suicide is imminently lethal usually within a period of forty-eight hours. The individual may look exceptionally normal at this crucial time since he would no longer wrestle with the thoughts and decision of ending his life.

Currently, there are merely 721 public hospitals that the 106.5 billion Filipino population have access to, and only 70 of these are under the Department of Health, with the rest being fully financed and managed by state and local governments. On the other hand, there are 1,071 licensed private hospitals, all of which over 80 percent of the population cannot afford to be treated without getting into deep debt.

This may be one of the reasons why there is an increase in suicide rates in our province because the patients are hesitant to seek help knowing that it would cost a lot, going into therapy and looking for a psychiatrist. A plan must be accompanied by action. If we plan to eradicate the growing problem with suicide, we must make sure that our amenities are available for everyone and not only for the ones who could afford it.

It is on this regard that it is important to check on people we love more so often since we will never know when they may decide to end all the pains and never-ending battles in their heads. One day an individual might look too cheerful and contented but he may turn out the next day as a happier person somewhere else outside of our earthly world.