MANILA – The United States Development Agency and the Philippines Department of Health announced on Friday they are preparing to launch the country’s first mental health app, to help struggling Filipinos during the COVID pandemic -19.
In a joint statement, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Health (DOH) said the app, dubbed “Lusog-Isip,” had been smoothly launched earlier in the day.
The app is not yet available in Google and Apple stores at the time of this story’s publication, but it will be soon, the agencies said.
“The app examines individuals to get a better idea of ââtheir general well-being and how they typically deal with stress before recommending ways to help themselves through workbooks, exercises , audio guides, a journal, mood tracker or even just simple personal care. reminders, “the release said.
Lusog-Isip will also provide a list of mental health and psychosocial support services online or nearby.
âUSAID is committed to supporting the promotion of this mobile application in schools, workplaces and communities,â the US agency added.
The DOH, on the other hand, described the app as a “timely innovation.”
Frances Prescilla Cuevas, DOH’s health program manager in its mental health division, said it was high time an app could help Filipinos during the ongoing health crisis.
“As the Department of Health and our health workers strive to cope and live with this pandemic, we must find ways to take care of the mental well-being of our fellow Filipinos who continue to suffer from the current circumstances, âCuevas explained.
Many mental health and mindfulness apps on Google Play and Apple stores require monthly or annual subscriptions for a person to fully use their features.
According to the DOH in May, at least 3.6 million Filipinos struggle with mental health issues amid the pandemic.
About 1.14 million Filipinos suffer from depression, 847,000 struggle with alcohol use disorders, while 520,000 others have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the agency noted.
Contracting COVID-19 also affects a person’s mental health, as a DOH study showed that one in three COVID-19 patients were diagnosed with neuropsychiatric disease 6 months after being infected with the disease, said Frances Prescilla Cuevas, DOH’s health program manager. Office of Disease Prevention and Control.
The DOH has reminded the public not to hesitate to call the National Center for Mental Health hotline 1553 if they need to speak with a mental health professional.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to stay at home as governments impose containment measures to stop the spread of the virus.