File photo from Shutterstock.

When experiencing depression or having suicidal thoughts, seek immediate help.

The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) made the call in a Facebook post on Saturday in observance of World Suicide Prevention Day.

“Hindi ka nag-iisa. Mayroong handang tumulong at makinig sa ’yo (You are not alone. There is someone who is willing to help and listen to you),” the OPS advised those who may be having a difficult time.

The OPS said people with mental health problems or at risk of suicide might contact the National Center for Mental Health toll-free crisis hotline 1553; mobile numbers 0917-8998726, 0966-3514518, and 0908-6392672; or (02)7989-8727, available 24/7.

According to the OPS, the Department of Health’s also has helpful information and tips for mental health wellness.

The website advises taking time to rest, relax, and take a break to relieve stress and anxiety; taking up hobbies and activities; having a good support group; being a good source of support; tracking mood and triggers, and knowing who to seek help from and when.

“We all can reach in and ask somebody. Small talk can save lives and create a sense of connection and hope in somebody who may be struggling,” the DOH posted on Facebook.

“Creating Hope through Action” is the triennial theme for World Suicide Prevention Day from 2021 to 2023.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the theme is a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and aims to inspire confidence.

WHO data showed an estimated 703,000 people worldwide take their lives every year.

“Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and was the fourth leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds globally in 2019. Suicide does not just occur in high-income countries, but is a global phenomenon in all regions of the world. In fact, over 77 percent of global suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2019,” WHO said in a June 2021 report.

In the Philippines, there was a sudden spike in suicide deaths in 2020, or at the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Based on the data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority, deaths due to intentional self-harm rose to 3,529 in 2020, higher by 25.7 percent than the 2,808 deaths recorded in 2019. (PNA)

Previous articleCOMELEC starts bidding for ballot boxes in 2022 BSKE
Next articleInday expected to weaken as it moves to leave PAR