DOH: STRESS MANAGEMENT AND SOCIAL SOLIDARITY VITAL TO PANDEMIC RESPONSE

Press Release/22 June 2020

 

The pandemic has taken a toll on the lives of many Filipinos, impacting both the psychological and social well-being of many who are still adapting to the current circumstances.

In today’s Beat COVID-19 Virtual Presser, Health OIC-Undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire and health social scientist Dr. Nina Castillo-Carandang discussed the importance of recognizing the various challenges and stressors that contribute to anxiety. According to them, self-awareness of one’s mental condition is a key aspect in the search for “Kagalingan”, or well-being, happiness, and health.

“Wala nang mas naaangkop pang panahon kundi ngayon upang magkaroon tayo ng pagkakaisa at pagmamalasakit upang labanan ang COVID-19 at harapin ang new normal at ito’y magmumula sa ating mga tahanan,” said Vergeire.

Carandang assured that when exploring one’s mental state, it’s important to recognize that it’s okay to not be okay. “Kailangan tanggapin natin na posibleng mayroon tayong pinagdadaanan sa buhay natin ngayon. Mayroon tayong mga problema tulad ng pagkabalisa at pakiramdam na walang kasiguruhan sa mga bagay-bagay at sa buhay. Pero tandaan po natin, it’s okay not to be okay” she said.

“Kung handa na po tayo magkuwento sa iba, maaaring ibahagi natin ang ating mga pinagdaraanan at naramdaman sa mga piling taong pinagkakatiwalaan natin tulad ng kapamilya’t kaibigan. Maaari tayong magulat na hindi pala tayo nag-iisa sa ating mga pinagdadaanan ngayon. Kung kinakailangan meron pong mga available na mga libreng serbisyong pang-telekonsulta para sa ating kalusugang emotional, at mental, at pati narin sa ating physical na kalusugan.”

Carandang suggests that we can be “Socially Connected but Physically Distant” through text messaging, social and traditional media, radio, tv, online religious services. “Malayo man, malapit rin. Konektado at nakikipag-ugnayan pa rin tayo sa isa’t isa ngunit may pisikal na  distansya sa pagitan ng bawat isa,”she explained.

While change is inevitable, it is often resisted because it disrupts our sense of normalcy. The health social scientist encouraged mutual support and social solidarity to overcome this resistance to change. By being patient, considerate, and participative towards our end goal, Filipinos will emerge from the pandemic more resilient than ever, she remarked.

In addition, the Health Spokesperson emphasized on the need for social change with infection prevention and control (IPC) measures. This includes the proper use of PPEs, physical distancing, constant hygiene, and cooperation with local health officials which are all necessary in the fight against COVID-19. The health official underscored that a wider adoption of the practices can be achieved if everyone plays a part in its promotion.

“Bagaman mayroon tayong iba’t-ibang pinagmumulan, lahat tayo ay kumakaharap sa iisang pandemya. Wala nang mas naaayong pang panahon kundi ngayon upang magkaisa at magkaroon ng malalim na pagkakaunawaan at malasakit sa isa’t-isa habang patuloy nating nilalabanan ang COVID-19,” she said.