‘Address depression, prevent suicide,’ urges Thomasian psychiatrist

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A THOMASIAN alumnus has stressed the need to address depression as a way to prevent suicide.

“The whole idea of [determining] depression is because of the danger of suicide,” said Dr. Edgardo Tolentino, former president of the Philippine Psychiatric Association, in a forum at Bonifacio Global City last April 8.

“We need to ask them the question, that is how we can save lives,” he said.

Tolentino said attention needs to be given to people who manifest suicidal tendencies.

“When a person is talking about suicide, it is not because he or she is seeking attention. It should be taken seriously,” Tolentino said.

“Friends and relatives do play an important role in helping a depressed loved one. Do not label them as ‘sick’ because it is not going to contribute to anything,” he added.

Tolentino finished medicine at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and his undergraduate degree in psychology at the College of Science.

The forum, “Let’s Talk: A Movement Against Depression,” was organized by the World Health Organization and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Philippines in line with World Health Day. It aimed to raise awareness on depression and other mental health issues.

Other speakers were actress Antoinette Taus, musician Pollly Cabrera and rapper Mito Fabie.

In 2012, the Department of Health National Center for Mental Health estimated more than 2,500 suicides in the Philippines, mostly among males.

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