The Iloilo Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) is encouraging Ilonggos to allot more time for their families.
This is after Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. asked the PSWDO to do research and plan actions to address the rising cases of suicide in the province.
In an interview on Monday, Dr. Neneth Pador, PSWDO head, said their office has conducted a random house-to-house visit to families with a member who committed suicide.
Citing a report of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO), she said there had been 69 suicide cases across all ages from January 1 to Oct. 15 this year.
Twenty-two families of those victims requested burial assistance from PSWDO, Pador said.
“We conducted a random visit to those families who asked for financial assistance and there we saw that depression, mental health, nervous breakdown, bullying, and family problem are the reasons of suicide,” she said.
Pador said a family that lost a member to suicide also needs support. She said one of the children of a suicide victim has suffered from trauma.
“There are times that the child trembles, so I requested the daycare worker and the municipal social welfare development officer to always look after the child and make her feel that she is loved and wanted,” she said.
One of the commonalities of the families the PSWDO visited was the lack of close relationship among the members, she said.
“They lack quality bond because everybody is busy,” she noted.
Pador said they will promote their advocacy for quality family time from what they had observed in the field.
“We advocate to other families that they should take seriously when a child says he or she will commit suicide. The child must be given attention,” she said.
The PSWDO head also advised parents to be mindful of the activities of their children, and for the children to also check on their parents.
Family meals are important, she said, as it is the time when family members gather and get to share their feelings and sentiments.
Good values can also be inculcated in children during family time, which can help the child acquire “attitude and skills that will help them survive a life beyond poverty”.
“We should always give attention to each member of our family from children to the elderly. This will be our main advocacy, (to inculcate) good values because values should come from the family,” she said. (PNA)