A 21-year-old man was found dead in an apparent suicide inside his family’s home in Loboc on Tuesday afternoon.
According to Staff Sgt. Urven Molina of the Loboc Police Station, Michael Bantugan was found hanging inside his room by his father, Pastor Bantugan, at past 5 p.m.
Doctor Lev Varquez-Nadela, Loboc Municipal Health Officer, declared Michael dead on the spot, indicating that the cause of death was asphyxia secondary to strangulation.
Police investigators based on Varquez-Nadela’s findings noted that there were no indications of foul play behind Micheal’s death.
Molina said that Michael was with Pastor just hours before his apparent suicide helping with the construction of a house at a neighboring village.
Michael went home ahead of his father after claiming to have suffered from a headache.
Authorities, based on their probe, noted that Michael was encountering “personal problems” prior to his death.
Suicide cases in Bohol have caused alarm among various sectors in the province including the Church and the provincial government.
Cause for alarm
Last week, the Provincial Health Office convened psychiatrists, psychologists, members of the clergy, academe, representatives from the business sector, officials of the Department of Education, Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) members, police officers and volunteers to tackle the issue and map out proactive strategies.
The Bohol Provincial Police Office also presented data on the number of suicide cases recorded by various police stations from across the province from 2016 to 2019.
Meanwhile, non-professional mental health awareness group “Project Bohol: Mental Health Awareness” held its first workshop last week.
The organization, founded by Boholano psychometricians Beau Tinio and Marielle Rhea Aguilar, invited psychologist Kit Balane as their guest speaker during the event which was attended by 70 individuals at the Arabelle Suites in Tagbilaran City.
The SP also tackled the issue on suicide in September 2018 and in July this year while local Church leaders expressed concern over the incidents following reports made through print, radio and online media channels.
Such cases would have otherwise been buried in police blotters and have gone unnoticed had these not been reported.
In an earlier interview, Balane said that family members should show support to those in distress or those showing signs of despair or depression.
Balane cited multiple reasons that could drive individuals to take their own lives including feelings of hopelessness and mental disorders.
“Ang uban naa ni silay psychiatric illness. Ika duha, kining sense of hopelessness. Siguro naa siya’y gihambin na sakit…na para niya, kung ipadayon ni, lisod na g’yud kaayo. Di na niya maantos, so ang escape ra g’yud ang suicide,” Balane said.
“Ang lain rason pud, long-term relationship issues. Sa bana o asawa ba kaha, sa ginikanan or sa romantic relationship. Naa puy uban na involved na lain party, para pud makapanimaws,” he added.
However, Balane noted that there have been instances when people committed suicide without showing any signs of problems or possible causes for taking their own lives.
“Although mao niy uban reasons na ang taw maghikog, naa g’yuy ubang mga taw na wa ta mag-expect. Kana bang kamao sila mo-mask sa ilahang gi-bati na kalisod inside,” he said.
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. (A. Doydora)