Kalookan diocese creates mental health ‘hopeline’

Kalookan diocese creates mental health ‘hopeline’

By CBCP News

July 3, 2020

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic diocese in Metro Manila has created a support helpline for those struggling with anxiety and other emotions due to the coronavirus crisis.

Dubbed as “Covid Hopeline”, the Diocese of Kalookan‘s phone-in counselling program is staffed with mental health experts and priests to help those in emotional distress.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said that since the early weeks of the lockdown, the diocese has also been holding psycho-spiritual webinars and online counselling.

“We launched our own hopeline so that we’ll be able to help our people in the diocese when they need guidance of a priest or a psychiatrist,” Bishop David said over Church-run Radio Veritas.

Three months into the pandemic, the National Center for Mental Health reported an increasing number of Filipinos facing mental health issues such as anxiety during the lockdown.

The prelate said the diocese takes mental health needs seriously, and ensures availability of support.

“Many health issues arise in people during the pandemic so the Church also needs to be there to address such issues,” said Bishop David, who is also the Vice President of the Philippine bishops’ conference.

He added that the diocese’s social communication ministry has also strengthened its online presence to help provide pastoral accompaniment during the lockdown period.