To help the residents affected by Typhoon Odette last year, the Municipality of General Luna in Surigao del Norte recently partnered with PLDT and Smart to launch its community-based mental health program through the Psychological First Aid (PFA) training.
PFA aims to provide first-aid, non-intrusive care by conducting in-person sessions for those who need to check on their mental health. Moderate to severe cases of mental distress are escalated to the Municipal Health Center.
“Through our partnership with PLDT and Smart, we were able to launch our Psychological First Aid program, which supports the mental health care of our community,” Dr. Timothy Jordan Manalang, municipal health officer from General Luna, Surigao del Norte.
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Through Siargao’s PFA program, representatives from various sectors were trained to become first responders to mental health care. This includes barangay and municipal health officers as well as midwives and emergency responders.
For Manilyn Alcala, who has been a midwife for 10 years, the lessons learned during the PFA training help build rapport and trust between the person needing mental health care, and the first responders.
“This training is essential to us because we strengthened our ways to communicate and provide simple counseling when we are with the community. The training is a reminder of how we can respond better to the community’s needs,” Alcala said.
Promoting digital wellness is a key part of PLDT and Smart’s continuing commitment to help the Philippines contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) #3 which stands for good health and well-being.