THE Department of Health (DOH) must immediately attend to the “mental health crisis” that has been reported in evacuation centers where thousands of residents from Marawi City have been staying since fighting broke out between government troops and Islamic-State inspired Maute terrorists in May, a senator said on Thursday.
Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito issued the call on Thursday following reports that more than 30,000 evacuees were showing signs of mental disorders brought by their current condition.
“While I hope this mental health issue is a false alarm, what’s important is that we look into this matter, provide the necessary medical and counseling intervention to evacuees manifesting disturbance, and provide immediate curative measures,” said Ejercito, head of the committee on health and demography.
The DOH, according to Ejercito, should immediately dispatch mental health experts to these evacuation centers.
Ejercito said his committee was willing to act on whatever means available to help the affected families.
”We will ensure in the Senate health committee that the situational report provided by mental health experts containing general evaluation of the problem and recommendations would be acted upon urgently and appropriately,” said Ejercito.
The Marawi Crisis that started on May 23 has displaced more than 65,000 families from Marawi City and nearby villages in Lanao del Sur. There are at least 79 evacuation centers in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur and Cagayan de Oro City. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA