Suicide cases are on the rise in the Philippines, according to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who is calling on religious leaders to lift the spirits of their communities.
“We respectfully request our spiritual leaders to bring this much needed message of hope to our suffering countrymen in order to stave off more incidents of self-destruction,” said Guevarra, as per Rappler.
Guevarra said that he discussed the increasing number of suicide cases with Secretary Carlito Galves Jr., the head of the COVID-19 task force, on Friday evening, August 21. He shared that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases is alarmed at the information, although no exact figures were given.
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a mental health toll on Filipinos, with millions also struggling with unemployment and loss of livelihood. Others struggle with losing loved ones to the disease, loneliness, and anxiety that the world will not return to normal.
The government is now turning to churches and spiritual leaders to provide the necessary counsel and guidance to their constituents to fight a new battle, this time against depression and suicide.