NGF was invited to speak about depression awareness during the DOH 2nd Visayas Cluster Meeting in Aklan.
To a crowd of around 70 doctors, NGF President, Jean Goulbourn discussed the importance of having a nationwide campaign on depression awareness and suicide prevention. She focused on NGF’s new campaign of MINDSTRONG which focuses on simple activities individuals can do to be mentally fit.
Such activities include proper lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.
Mrs. Goulbourn also appealed to the audience to include a crisis center in each of their hospitals that can cater to suicidal and/or severely depressed patients. She also stressed the importance of having all doctors (whether a general practitioner or a specialized doctor) knowing the symptoms of depression.
“Most people are unaware that depression is co-morbid with several other diseases,” Mrs. Goulbourn says. “63% of diabetic patients have depression. We cannot ignore that depression exists. We have to treat the two illnesses simultaneously.”
She urges all doctors to become more holistic in how they treat patients, and not merely prescribe medications based on the chief complaint. She recommends that doctors ask patients about their diet and lifestyle habits as this may also be a cause of their disease and possibly, depression.