House member worries COVID-19 driving many Pinoys crazy

MENTAL illness and problems may rise amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This is why Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Is urging the government to hire more guidance counsellors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health personnel to help people cope with mental issues.

Rodriguez said the fear alone of getting infected by the new coronavirus “is driving many Filipinos nuts.”

“This prolonged pandemic is adversely affecting the mental health of tens of thousands if not millions among us. Worries of being sick with COVID, no work, no food or less food to eat, being unable to go outdoors, pressure to earn for the family, sickness in the family, depressing news of friends infected with and dying of covid, unable to continue school, inability to get physical comfort from friends and relatives -- all these result in deteriorating mental health of our people,” he said.

Added to the problem “is the uncertainty of when this infectious virus wreaking havoc on our lives will go away,” he said.

For this reason, the national government and local government units should prepare facilities for counseling and treating people with psychological problems.

On the part of Congress, he said the legislature should speed up the approval of proposals for the hiring of more mental health personnel and construction of mental health facilities, he said.

He said one such measure is Bill 2732, which he filed in July 2018.

The bill is titled, “An Act to recruit, hire and train additional school-based guidance counsellors, psychologists, social workers and mental health personnel.”

The proposed law provides that each public elementary and secondary school should have at least three counsellors, one psychologist and one social worker.