Albay police urge ‘immediate intervention’ to stem rise in suicides

April 25, 2017 - 8:46 AM
(Reuters file photo)

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Police in Albay said there is a need for “immediate intervention” to stem a rise in suicides in the province.

Chief Inspector Arthur Gomez, provincial police chief investigator, said they recorded 24 suicides last year.

While acknowledging they are still consolidating their records from January to April this year, he said they believe the figures “are still alarming,” citing the latest case, on April 22, when a 24-year old man from Camalig town shot himself in front of his girlfriend in Guinobatan after she broke up with him

The bulk of last year’s suicides — 21 — were male. Gomez added that 18 were single, two married and four were widowed.

Eight of the incidents were attributed to emotional problems, four were linked to mental disorder, two to health problems, two to family problems. In the remaining eight cases, the suicides gave no reason for taking their lives.

Gomez said Albay police director Senior Superintendent Antonino Cirujales has ordered the chiefs of police of the province’s three cities and 15 towns to coordinate with local health and social welfare offices and barangay officials and keep an eye out for people possibly suffering depression, which mental health experts could trigger suicide, with the aim of offering intervention.

Dr. Evy Sarmiento, head of the Department of Health-Bicol’s Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control unit, told a forum on depression early this month that “attention should be given to adolescents and young adults; women of child-bearing age; and older adults or those over 60 years old.”

“It is important to find the root cause of depression of those affected,” she said.