The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 7 virtually launched the WiSupport Project that uses wireless and online platforms that would help address the mental health and psychosocial needs of individuals.
The unpredictability and uncertainties brought by COVID-19 could increase the risk of mental health problems. Different studies suggest adverse mental health and psychosocial effects to people going through the difficulties of the pandemic.
The DSWD-7 responded to these health concerns based on the provisions of RA 11036 or the Philippine Mental Health Law that aims to provide mental health care services using technology-based platforms. This led to the development of the WiSupport Project.
Individuals and family members can send requests for a free consultation through various channels such as email at firstname.lastname@example.org, ekwentomo.dswd.gov.ph website, a mobile application called WiSupport (available on Google Play Store), and the use of WiServ SMS at 0918-912-2813. These wireless and online tools are attended by WiSupport Service Providers every day from 8 AM to 5 PM except for holidays.
Central Visayas is one of the pilot regions implementing this project aside from the National Capital Region and Caraga Region.
This newly-launched program aims to provide help for repatriated OFWs, employees affected by flexible work arrangements or temporary employment closures, needy family heads, and other individuals and families in distress.
“There are many types of mental healthcare providers who diagnose and treat mental illnesses. But, DSWD as a social welfare agency offers free help for everyone in the community by determining what type of intervention an individual or a family might need through providing referral pathways,” the DSWD-7 Assistant Regional Director for Administration Antonio R. Dolaota said during the launching.
Clients needing further mental health and psychosocial assistance will be referred to its network of services from DOH, DOLE, OWWA, Philippine Red Cross, Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) Cebu Cluster, and the United Registered Social Workers (URSW) Visayas Cluster. Immediate interventions are provided according to the need and present situation of the clients.
DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton gave a resounding message of the agency’s full support of this project. “We are committed to helping those individuals in need of employment support through the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program,” stated Siaton.
Representatives from different referral networks and non-government organizations such as Norfil Foundation, Everlasting Hope Foundation, and P/CSWDOs attended the virtual launching for respective community rollouts.
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