A 19-year-old man died after he allegedly hanged himself from a black plum fruit (lumboy) tree in Cortes town.
Mike Nguho, a resident of Upper Lapaz, Cortes, was discovered by neighbors as he was hanging from a tree with a rope strung around his neck on Wednesday morning, said Cortes police chief Insp. Camilo Estrera, Jr.
He was still rushed to a hospital onboard an ambulance but was declared dead on arrival.
According to Estrera, investigators did not find any indications of foul play behind Nguho’s death.
Nguho was suffering from depression after his girlfriend broke up with him, said Estrera based on statements from the Nguho family.
He started to isolate himself and appeared problematic after the recent breakup, Estrera added.
Nguho’s apparent suicide was the 7th suicide recorded by police in a span of less than two weeks.
Since August 2, police have recorded six other suicide cases in Alicia, Anda, Talibon, Tagbilaran City, Candijay and San Isidro town.
In 2016, the Department of Health with the World Health Organization and Natasha Goulbourn Foundation launched Hopeline, a suicide prevention hotline, as part of efforts to address mental health issues affecting Filipinos nationwide.
Hopeline Philippines can be contacted through 0917 5584673 and 2919, a toll-free number for Globe and TM subscribers.
However, in a check made by the Chronicle, only the “09175584673” number immediately took the call.
Hopeline Philippines had earlier explained that although its hotlines are operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no lunchbreaks, no holidays, and no prescribed business hours, it is only capable of handling 12 calls at a time, with only three crisis responders every shift.
Do you know someone who has thoughts of taking their own life? Here’s how you can help! pic.twitter.com/azowXcbeYX
— Hopeline Philippines (@HopelinePH) July 3, 2018
If the line is busy, callers are encouraged to call after 15 to 20 minutes — the average duration for each phone crisis intervention.
For his part, psychologist and Chronicle columnist Kit Balane admitted that addressing mental health issues could be costly in the Philippines.
He expressed hope that the implementation of the Mental Health Law, which would provide affordable and accessible mental health services for Filipinos, would be expedited.
“Naa na man tay balaod na gitawag og Mental Health Law, unya mag provide na siya sa mga hospital ug sa tanang barangay og mental health component na serbisyo na ihatag sa atoang gobyerno,” Balane said. “Hinaot unta na madali ni kay sa pagkakaron, sa tinuod lang, kung maghisgot ta og mental health, medyo mahal-mahal jud.”
Balane also noted the importance of family members and friends in showing support to those in distress or those showing signs of despair or depression.
“Ato g’yud ng iseryoso kung duna’y ngana na mag-storya na bahin og maghikog,” said Balane. (A. Doydora)