Depression awareness urged
Parents and teachers should work together to raise their awareness on depression to save lives, a guidance counselor of Palawan State University-Office of Student Affairs (PSU-OSAS) said.
Professor Lucia Fresnillo said without proper guidance of parents and teachers, “students who are depressed might attempt to inflict harm on themselves.”
She explained young people in the age range 12-20 years old are the ones “susceptible to depression,” Fresnillo said.
“Hindi lang ito concern ng guidance counselor, but of course ng parents, kailangan [ay] nandiyan [din]. Sa teachers, malaking factor din [sila] talaga… they should not only focus sa academic orientation, but they should also reach out [to their students],” she said.
Fresnillo said teachers who considered “terror” also causes depression, she said adding that teachers should be like “parents to them, a counselor, and a friend.”
Depression, she pointed out, “is a prolonged and persistent emotional tension that negatively affects the mood, perception, feelings, and performance in the daily tasks required of a person suffering from it.”
Fresnillo also said parents and teachers should be aware of the symptoms of depression such as extended duration of gloom and sadness, accompanied by the loss of interest towards the activities a student used to enjoy.
She added that it is the challenges of the transition from childhood to adulthood that often strains the students.
There should be a safe atmosphere where students can openly speak his/her heart out as an outlet of his/her emotion lessens depression, she said.
The guidance of an adult will allow the students to cope with the challenges at hand, and diminish stress and anxiety, she also said
“Especially kapag high school, ‘yong emotional and social aspects nila ay [dapat] mai-strengthen talaga, [and] how to cope up with stress. Minsan kelangan lang talaga ng kausap,” she said.
Teachers or parents who sees unusual behaviors in their students and children that they suspect as depression, “must immediately refer them to the OSAS counseling division for proper care and actions to be taken.:
Glaiza Sebatna, counselor of the PSU- Office on Women, Gender and Development (OWGAD) said her office is willing to partner with OSAS in disseminating information on mental health.
A student suffering from any emotional or mental issues can call their AKAP Helpline at 0916-1551030.
AKAP Helpline helps the youth deal with relationship problems, family issues, work-related stress, alcoholism and chemical dependency, domestic violence, sexual abuse or harassment, and bullying.
Sebatna said depression is an illness arising from complicated issues rooting caused by environmental, social, and even biological factors.
However, she said depression is usually triggered by concerns that their office is willing to help by referring them to the proper agencies to give solutions to their problems.
“Kapag may problema, maganda ang therapy na tinatawag na ‘talkit-out’ so kelangan mo siyang ilabas. Ikuwento mo siya, maging close ka sa family mo, or sa support group mo. Huwag kang mag-iisa. Iwasan mong mag-isa,” Sebatna said.