MANILA – At least 42 individuals who reported suffering from heightened anxiety amid the Covid-19 pandemic were assisted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through its “Wireless Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for Individuals and Families Affected by Covid-19 and other Crisis Situations” (WiSUPPORT) program.
The WiSUPPORT data were from April 30, 2021, when the program was launched, until June 20.
The program uses online platforms such as electronic mail, web portal DSWD WiServ, telephone, and mobile application to provide easy access to communication tools on mental health matters.
The project is currently on pilot test in the National Capital Region, Central Visayas, and Caraga.
DSWD said its target clientele include overseas Filipinos in distress, children in need of special protection, senior citizens, women in especially difficult circumstances, persons with disabilities, family heads and other needy adults, and other individuals and families in distress.
"The cases of clients who accessed the platforms include heightened anxiety, fear of contracting Covid-19, depression, trauma and grief, feeling pressured, psychological impacts of losing a job, and mental condition due to contracting the human immunodeficiency virus," it said in a statement on Tuesday.
The clients were provided with psychosocial interventions such as psychological first-aid and counseling sessions.
Some of the clinically diagnosed clients also asked for financial assistance for their maintenance medicines.
The WiSUPPORT operates with the Department of Health, National Center for Mental Health, Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Red Cross, Psychological Association of the Philippines, and the United Registered Social Workers.
For emergency cases needing immediate attention, the DSWD said clients will be referred to psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health institutions.
"Likewise, through the help of the Mental Health AWhereness PH mapping, integrated in the WiSUPPORT platforms, clients and service providers may also find agencies providing mental health services nearby," it added.
Mental Health AWHEREness provides an online platform and map of available mental health facilities and services in the country and offers assistance to address mental health conditions.
Clients in the pilot areas may access WiSUPPORT by calling 0947-4822864 and 0916-2471194 or texting 0918-9122813.
The official e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org while the websites are ekwentomo.dswd.gov.ph and wisupport.dswd.gov.ph.
The app can be accessed through Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cudavasol.wisupport. (PNA)