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mental tele-health and online psychosocial support

There can be times when we feel alone and isolated. More so now that physical distancing hampers our sense of social connectedness.

Sometimes, we need someone to talk to, to make us to feel better. But sometimes, we may be hesitant to reach out to our friends and family. We may be afraid to share our innermost thoughts and feelings, we may fear being judged negatively, fear being stigmatized, or we may feel our closest ones are a bit ‘too busy’ for us.

Sometimes, it’s more comforting to talk to strangers. To people who don’t know us, and who we probably will never see again, words can flow so easily. Have you noticed that?

In these times when we want to maintain utmost confidentiality, we may feel more secure talking to mental health care providers — people who are trained to handle emotional crises, in whom patient-provider confidentiality is engrained.

Here are some organizations that provide FREE psycho-social support via 24/7 crises hotlines for mental health or emotional crises:

DISCLAIMER: This post and the author are not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, maintained, authorized or sponsored by any of the organizations mentioned. All information are registered trademarks to their respective owners. Phone numbers, email addresses, websites, and profile description were obtained from each organization’s social media platforms at the time of writing, and may be subject to change without prior notice.

Tawag Paglaum Centro Bisaya
National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline

Pre-COVID-19, clinic visits were the norm. With it came long waiting lines, difficulty finding parking spots, traffic woes, other physical discomforts, and the fear that we might bump into someone we know.

From the crisis of this pandemic, arose innovations in mental health care. Tele-consultation and tele-psychiatry helps provide these services to vulnerable population groups. It’s easy, accessible (with a mobile phone, data plan, or internet connection), and can be done in the comfort and security of a patient’s home.

Patients perceived tele-health as acceptable, convenient, efficient (1). Most agree that the pandemic has increased their willingness to engage in virtual care (2). And, for established patients, virtual visits are more convenient, and provide effective follow-ups, compared to physical clinic visits (3).

Here are some organizations that provide psychological or psychiatric consultations, as well as psychosocial support and crisis intervention:

Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center – Center for Behavioral Sciences Teleconsultation
Philippine Mental Health Association – Cebu Chapter
Philippine Mental Health Association Community Based Mental Health Program
Recovery Hub by Metro Psychiatry Inc.

Here’s a PDF copy of these resources that you can share with your friends or family members in need:

If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, and need to talk to someone urgently, the crisis hotlines are available 24/7 to receive your call. If you are experiencing mental symptoms that hamper your abilities to do daily activities, you may benefit from seeking professional help from a psychologist or a psychiatrist*.

Remember, there is no shame in seeking mental help.

Let’s help each other spread awareness of mental health, and stop the stigma of mental illness.

*for further information on what goes on during a psychiatric consultation, check out my previous blog post here

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