Church in Palawan addresses depression

Church in Palawan addresses depression

A representative from Ospital ng Palawan discusses basic facts about depression and how to help someone experiencing it, during the launching of the advocacy apostolate of the Catholic Church for PLHIV and people experiencing depression, Feb. 13, 2019. KATYA SANTOS 

By Katya A. Santos

March 4, 2019

Puerto Princesa

The Church is “offering its hands and ears to people experiencing depression.”

This was one of the declarations of Bishop Socrates Mesiona following the launching of the local church’s advocacy apostolate program for persons living with the human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) and depression on Feb. 13 at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in this city.

“I am aware that there are that there are some cases of suicide in Palawan, and on the part of the Church we want to help on awareness, education and counseling,” he added in an interview with CBCP News.

Facts about depression

Bishop Socrates Mesiona, City Vice Mayor Nancy Socrates, Councilor Roy Gregorio Ventura, City Health Officer Ricardo Panganiban, Regine Villapa (HIV Program Coordinator), Hayalee Vicente (Ospital Ng Palawan) led the signing of commitment to support the program.

Depression is a serious illness, but most people get better with help, said Vicente during an overview about depression.

She discussed some facts about depression to help persons experiencing this kind of psychological struggle.

How to help

“If you know people who are experiencing depression, don’t try to cheer them up. They are looking at things from other perspective; just ask them if they need help, let them feel your presence…Just your presence is enough,” she explained.

The program – in partnership with the local government through the City Health Office (CHO), Ospital ng Palawan (ONP), and with the support of different volunteer-workers from civil society organization – concluded with a candle-lighting ceremony from the Cathedral to the Jubilee Cross.