MANILA, PHILIPPINES – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause various concerns among the population, the situation causes a great deal of anxiety among Filipinos. To help address this, Globe partnered with organizations that promote mental health specifically UP Diliman Psychosocial Services (UPD PsycServ) and New Good Feelings (NGF) Mindstrong’s HOPELINE. These organizations extend free counseling or psychotherapy services to those in need.
“The uncertainties that surround us are a cause of concern for many and may take its toll on mental health,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability Officer and SVP for Corporate Communications. “Globe hopes to reach out to those in need of support and show our fellow Filipinos that they are not alone in this fight.”
For the duration of the enhanced community quarantine, Globe is giving free unlimited call and text to UPD PsycServ to allow volunteers to reach out to those who send them messages via text or viber.
Anyone affected by the current crisis, especially the frontliners, COVID-19 patients, and their relatives, people under monitoring and those under investigation, may get in touch with UPD PsycServ. They can send a text or viber message to 09063743466 or 09167573157 with their name and concern or accomplish the form on the link http://bit.ly/PsycServPH to receive a call from a PsycServ volunteer. PsycServ operates from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
“Indeed physical distancing is hard but we can still enable people to connect for encouragement and comfort. Text man o tawag sa phone, maipapadama ang pagsama,” said Dr. Violeta V. Bautista, PsycServ Director and Clinical Psychology Program Chair of the UP Diliman Department of Psychology.
UPD PsycServ was born in 2017 in response to an increasing number of students who are at risk for psychiatric conditions and those already suffering from them. PsycServ is composed of licensed psychologists and psychosocial support specialists trained to give psychological first aid, counseling, and psychotherapy.
Likewise, Globe provides New Good Feelings (NGF) MIndstrong with free Amazon Connect Private Automatic Branch eXchange (PABX) service so that its responders can continue to receive and process calls from the 2919 HOPELINE even while they are at home.
The hotline 2919 is toll free for Globe and TM customers. Other HOPELINE numbers are (02) 804-HOPE (4673) and 0917 558 HOPE (4673).
Globe also encourages its customers to support frontliners and patients suffering from Covid and other illnesses by posting messages of hope in its Hope Bank site https://www.facebook.com/groups/267986420517932/. Hope Bank is an online community of support for anyone in need of upliftment and encouragement.
On the other hand, Globe continues to support ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.’s Bantay Bata #163 Helpline which is free for all Globe and TM mobile phone users to make it easier for citizens to report child abuse during the enhanced community quarantine where children are forced to stay at home.
According to the 2018 report on the SItuation Analysis of Children in the Philippines, 2 in 3 children have been victims of physical violence, 2 in 5 of psychological violence, 1 in 4 of sexual violence, and 2 in 3 of peer violence. Such violence often takes place at home.
Globe is also helping UNICEF amplify its messaging for health and nutrition, education, and child protection as the organization noted that children are already confused and distressed over the fear and anxiety caused by the uncertainty of the spread of COVID-19.
Aside from protecting the children, UNICEF said that “understanding and addressing mental health and psychosocial considerations will be key to stopping transmission and preventing the risk of long-term repercussion on the population’s wellbeing and capacity to cope with adversity.”
The mental health and wellbeing of frontline workers should also be addressed and supported both during and after the outbreak, it added.
Even prior to the pandemic, UNICEF noted that there is already a huge concern over the significant growth in the number of people worldwide experiencing mental health conditions, with half of such disorders starting before age 14. According to UNICEF, up to 20 % of adolescents globally experience mental disorders and suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-19-year-olds worldwide.