Victims of the massive REPA Paluwagan investment scam that has duped over a thousand Boholanos of over P500 million need to look after their mental health amid the emotional stress that the ordeal has caused them, a health professional said.
According to Dina Golosino, a guidance counsellor of volunteer-run mental health center Pagpakabuhi (Paghatag og Pagtagad sa Kabililhon sa Kinabuhi), some victims may need to join group workshops for them to vent out their frustrations and emotional distress.
“Unta ma gather ni sila, matagaan og workshops para mapahungaw ang mga huna-huna og pagbati, e-allow ang mga victims especially para sila mapaminaw,” said Golosino.
Those who are severely distressed may need to undergo critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) to prevent instances of self harm and other untoward incidents.
“For those who need more attention and processing, sa akong mga na-hold na estudyante ako ni silang tagaan og CISD kay naa man koy follow through nila, dili ra bitaw usa ra ka encounter. Mao na siyay appropriate na buhaton to those na acute na gyud kaayo ang ilahang stress kay atoa gyung e-prevent ang suicide na mahitabo,” she said.
Meanwhile, others may need to undergo individual counselling after the experience, which may be traumatic for some.
“Dunay individual na manginahanglan gyud og basic na counselling, kaning paminawon ang ilang nagsapaw-sapaw na trauma kay kani maingon na traumatic experience,” said Golosino.
Others experiencing extreme distress could seek the services of a physiatrist, especially if they show symptoms of mental problems that may need medication.
According to Golosino, non-mental health professionals may also help in easing the distress and emotional burdens of victims just by listening to their problems without judging.
“Ang uban dili kinahanglan kaayo na dunay gyuy expert kaayo na psychologist basta lang ang importante dunay kasing-kasing na maminaw unya andam siya mo tabang na di hukman,” she said.
She added that victims should also not be blamed for having invested in the fraudulent scheme.
“Dili unta sila hukman na ‘imo ng sala nganong mi sulod mo ana’ wala sa na, suspend sa karon para lang gyud mapahungaw ang naa sa ilang huna-huna ug pagbati,” she said.
The REPA investment, which has been declared fraudulent and injurious by the Securities and Exchange Commission, has victimized over a thousand Boholanos including those trying to survive the dire economic impact of the pandemic.
While some invested extra money with REPA, there have been reports of investors selling their belongings and taking out loans to buy securities. (R. Tutas)