Suicides in Philippines Climb to Record High in COVID Year 2020

Know that help is available.
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If you are having thoughts of suicide, know that help is always here. You are not alone. Call the National Center For Mental Health 24/7 Crisis Hotline 1553, 0917 899 8727(USAP), and/or 7-989-8727 (USAP).

(UPDATE) The Philippines recorded the highest number of suicide deaths in a single year in pandemic year 2020 since at least 2006, official data showed, underscoring the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on millions of Filipinos under quarantine for one year and counting.

Deaths due to suicide jumped 25.7% to 3,529 in 2020 from 2,808 in 2019. It was also the biggest year-on-year jump based on available data. The Philippine Statistics Authority started tracking suicide and self-harm deaths in 2006.

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The spike made suicide the 27th leading cause of death last year from rank 31 in 2019.


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Heart disease remained the leading cause of death in the Philippines, just like the year before, the PSA said.

While suicides are a serious public health problem, these are also preventable according to the World Health Organization.

"There are a number of measures that can be taken at population, sub-population, and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts," it said.

Among the ways that communities can prevent such cases are by introducing alcohol policies to reduce its harmful use, school-based interventions, and provision of community support.

How to get help

For those who need help, there are many free services available such as the National Center for Mental Health's helpline (0966-351-4518) which operates 24/7.

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The hotline caters to different mental health-related queries-- from connecting callers to mental health professionals for counseling to proper triaging of those who are in crisis.

“Many Filipinos are grappling with stress, anxiety and other mental health issues. We want them to know that they are not alone and that we are ready to help,” said Frances Prescilla Cuevas, Head of the Department of Health's National Mental Health Program.


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