Psychological First Aid Key to Battling Mental Health Crisis

Due to the increasing number of mental health cases in the Philippines, two leaders in the country’s health and personal care industries, PhilCare and Johnson & Johnson
Philippines, Inc. (JJPI), are collaborating to make psychological first aid (PFA) accessible to
more Filipinos.

philcare johnson and johnson webinar 2
PhilCare President and CEO Joseph Augustin L. Tanco and AMET Area Managing Director Raghu Krishnan

Results of a recent study by the Department of Health indicates that around 3.6 million Filipinos found themselves battling mental disorders during the pandemic. PFA is about comforting someone who might be in distress, and helping them feel safe and calm by applying three basic action principles — look, listen, and link. To look is to assess the situation of the individual seeking help; to listen is to pay active attention to what they’re experiencing and helping them find solutions to their problem; and to link is to address their basic needs like food, water, and medicine, or to connect them to loved ones or to social support when needed.

Empowering Patients and Helpers.Learning PFA and understanding reactions to crises empowers all of us as helpers” said Dr. Edgardo Juan Tolentino, former president of the Philippine Psychiatric Association, during the recently held online forum Let’s Talk About Psychological First Aid organized by PhilCare and JJPI. “PFA is not anything far from physical first aid where you put a band aid on the shallow wound of an individual, but if the wound is deeper and you can’t control the bleeding, you may have to call the ambulance or bring the person to the ER.” Dr. Tolentino said.

Through this joint effort, PFA training, facilitated by JJPI, will be incorporated into PhilCare’s Mindscapes program for mental wellness. This will allow PhilCare’s mental health professionals to use PFA to treat their patients battling anxiety and depression brought on by the pandemic, economic uncertainties, or personal issues.

philcare johnson and johnson webinar 1
(L-R) PhilCare Associate Medical Director Ultra P. Tan, MD, PhilCare Senior Assistant Vice President for Emerging Channels & Partnerships Ma. Abigail Garcia-Lising, PhilCare VP for Operations Eilyn Evora-Ayuste, MD, PhilCare President and CEO Joseph Augustin L. Tanco, AMET Area Managing Director Raghu Krishnan, Aina Blaza – Commercial Leader, Janssen Philippines, Winester Ramos – Head of Vision Care, Conrado Antonio “Dino” Alejandro – Commercial Lead, Ethicon & CSS PH, Erwin Benedicto, MD – SEA Portfolio Medical Affairs Director, Myki Manalo, MD – Associate Medical Affairs Manager – Neurosciences

Mindscapes provides customizable and scalable programs to companies that wish to support their employees’ mental wellness journey. PhilCare also created three prepaid plans to make mental health counseling more accessible and affordable to Filipinos. The PFA that PhilCare and JJPI have adopted is the version that the International Red Cross has been using since March 2020. It specifically targets concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and is more of an evidence-informed intervention.

More than an effort to enhance its well-rounded mental health and wellness initiatives, the collaboration is also part of PhilCare’s 40th anniversary celebration. It signifies the HMO trailblazer’s continuous journey in improving the lives of Filipinos through new and innovative healthcare products and services.

Bring back control If we can put a theme to the pandemic, it would be ‘we have lost control.’” Dr. Tolentino noted. “When it began in 2020, our days were predictable. We have a schedule. Then suddenly, we find ourselves confined in our homes, with no schedule.

The idea is to bring back control by supporting good personal choices. Draw people out by asking them ‘What did you do to help yourself during this time,’ then pick up their positive coping mechanism,” he added. Dr. Tolentino pointed out that by just being by the side of someone who’s going through a crisis, encouraging their existing coping skills, and not pressing them to give details of their ordeal is already practicing PFA.

PFA can be helpful to people coping with everyday stress and challenges. These people
could include healthcare workers and social welfare responders, COVID-19 survivors, families who just lost a loved one, older adults who feel alone, and those with vulnerabilities like mental
health and substance abuse problems. “The goal of PFA is to provide safety, calm and comfort, and connectedness to a person. As well as to promote self-empowerment by giving them back their sense of control,“. Dr. Tolentino said.

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Source of PH mental health data https://news.abs-cbn.com/spotlight/05/19/21/at-least-36-million-filipinos-battling-mental-health-issues-amid-pandemic-doh

21 comments

  1. Super gandang information nito , at talaga naman napaka daming learning 🥰 thankyou for the wonderful information

    Like

  2. Thanks for sharing this, so really amazing and such a great and good information , so interesting this topic and very helpful for our mental health 🥰❤️

    Like

  3. This is very informative and helpful. Many of us are struggling for our mental health and the good thing is there is PFA that is very helpful in coping with everyday stress and challenges.

    Like

  4. If someone needs an ears to listen, just listen. If someone open up their secretes with you it means they trusted you, LEAVE IT WITHIN YOURSELF. Just at least make them feel that you are WORTH TO BE TRUSTED. At the end, their story has nothing to do with your life. Just don’t be a red flag.

    Like

  5. Big help to all seeking help about mental health ❤️ Kudos to PhilCare and Johnson & Johnson Philippines, Inc 💯👏

    Like

  6. This is a great Partnership from Johnson &Johnson Ph and PhilCare..
    Laking tulong nito para sa Mental healthcare Awareness

    Like

  7. Gandang advocacy po neto! laking tulong para sa mga taong nakakaranas ng anxiety at depression,, hindi dapat binabalewala ang mental health issues.. Matuto tayong intindihin yung feelings ng iba..

    Like

  8. Wow ganda nito philcareph & Johnson jonhnson #mentalhealth laking tulong ito sa taong may nararanasan na depression thank you for sharing tip mi

    Like

  9. Wow ganda nito philcareph & Johnson jonhnson #mentalhealth laking tulong ito sa taong may nararanasan na depression thank you for sharing tip mi

    Like

  10. What a great colab PhilCare & J&J.
    Thank you for making that project to help people about the mental health. We are here to spread the news to others also to help you about your mission.

    Like

  11. That’s so nice ☺️ big help to sa mga nakakaranas ng depression and anxiety ✅
    This collaboration is very accessible to more Filipinos with regards in mental health ❤️That’s so nice ☺️ big help to sa mga nakakaranas ng depression and anxiety ✅
    This collaboration is very accessible to more Filipinos with regards in mental health ❤️

    Like

  12. Napakalaking tulong nito sa mga taong nakakaranas ng depression and Anxiety sa ngayon. Nagkakaroon ng dagdag kaalaman upang maiwasan at magkaroon ng paraan upang masolusyonan at ganitong bagay

    Like

  13. Big help po tlaga nito, lalo na po sa mga nakakaranas ng depression po. Meron nang makakatulong sa kanila. Thanks for sharing this.

    Like

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