The COVID-19 pandemic does not only bring physical infirmity but affects the total state of wellness of everybody. Nobody is never affected. Nothing is never untouched. The damage is so severe that it brings most governments, civil and religious, to its knees. However, something is being given an utmost important at this pandemic time, “mental health”.
As described, mental health is the total physical, social, emotional, psychological, ecological, economical, and even spiritual state of wellness. Therefore, a mentally healthy persons are so integrated and at the top of anything and everything that comes. They are so pliable and resilient. But not everyone is in this ideal state. This pandemic has caused a conservative estimate of 13% to 20% increased in the incidence rate of mental health issues ranging from bearable stress to a diagnosed debilitating mental abnormality.
The Philippines, like most countries, succumbs to the adverse effects of this pandemic. It exposes every Filipino to something invisible that carries visible unwellness. In response, the local church in Antique produces a radio program which aims to promote mental health at this time of pandemic. The Commission on Mental Health and Wellness, that I chaired, teams up with the Diocesan Commission on Youth to bring about the diocese’s vision of having resilient Catholic Antiqueños who promote a culture of life. We pray that this diocesan promotion and advocacy on mental health become one of the many global arms that aim to combat mental health issues at this COVID-19 era.
Fr. Mario M. Dimapilis MHM, RN