Press Conference on Suicide Prevention

Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Elmer Punzalan, together with National Center for Mental Health Director Dr. Benny Vicente addressed a forum intended to obtain media support in disseminating vital information on Suicide and Suicide Prevention in the country. The event was held at the New World Hotel on September 1. They discussed the situation of suicide incidence in the country before an audience principally consisting of print and broadcast representatives.

Joining them were eminent mental health professionals: clinical psychologist Dr. Ma. Teresa Gustilo-Villasor, and psychiatrist Dr. Eleonor L. Ronquillo in stressing the realities of suicide and the many available modes of preventing it.  Suicide is a serious public health problem and requires a manifold of coordinated and correlated activities ranging from providing the best modalities of child rearing and youth education, careful attention to suicide ideation among both the elderly and the youth, and leading edge modes of treatment and management, including the control of environment risk factors.

Media practitioners from TV, print, radio and the web were present and asked the guest speakers about the realities of depression and suicide in the country today.  Well known singer, Ms. Kuh Ledesma, shared her personal battle with depression and how she coped with the condition.

Among the media companies represented were Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Manilla Bulletin, Daily Tribune, Manila Standard, Sense and Style, Philippine Tatler, ABS-CBN, ANC, Mega Publishing Group and well-known bloggers.