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Poe urges Senate committee to initiate a study on suicide prevention in the PHL

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Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares presenting at a budget hearing of the Senate of the Philippines in September 2012 (photo courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Poe)

Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares presenting at a budget hearing of the Senate of the Philippines in September 2012 (photo courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Poe)

MANILA, Oct. 3 (Mabuhay) – Senator Grace Poe on Thursday sought for the creation of a suicide prevention program for people suffering from depression as it remains the number one cause of death in the country.

Poe filed Senate Resolution 257 which urged the Senate committee on health and demography to conduct a study in relatively high rates of suicide and depression cases in the country.

“The importance of focused suicide prevention program should be studied and assessed by the government to help people with suicidal tendencies and those suffering from depression,” Poe said in a statement.

Following depression, death of a loved one is the second reason for suicide followed by separation or break up from a relationship, loss of custody of children, loss of job, house and money, terminal illness, chronic physical pain, loss of hope, and those who were victims of violence, rape, physical or verbal assault and serious legal problems.

The neophyte senator explained that in the Philippines, many people still do not consider depression as an illness, but something that “one eventually snaps out of”.

She added that it was also the reason why so many people suffering from depression feel embarrassed to seek help.

In a country which is predominantly Catholic and where suicide remains to be unacceptable, Poe explained, suicide incident among family members will likely be reported as deaths from other causes.

Suicide rate from 1984 to 2005 went up from 0.46 to seven out of every 200,000 men, while the incident rate for women jumped from 0.24 to two for every 200,000 women, records from the National Statistics Office showed.

However, Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, said the figures are lower than the actual suicide incidents due to under-reporting. (MNS)

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