MANILA – As families suffer drastic changes due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) stressed the critical importance of strengthening family relationships and accessing psycho-social and mental health support.
DSWD, as chair of the National Committee on the Filipino Family (NCFF), cited ways to support their family amid the pandemic.
“Remind family members to always follow the health and safety protocols),” DSWD said.
On their social media sites, the agency frequently posts information materials on proper washing of hands, wearing of face masks and shields, and keeping physical distancing when going outside.
The agency recommended that if symptoms of Covid-19 show, immediately seek medical professional help, It also cited the importance of family members checking on each other.
“Everyone, young and old family members, can experience stress, fear, and anxiety from the pandemic. Encourage them to share their feelings and listen to their concerns. Explain to children what is happening through ways they can understand. Make them realize that the fear and anxiety they feel is normal at this time of pandemic),” it added.
In a recent virtual conference, DSWD secretary Rolando Bautista underscored the vital role of a “resilient” Filipino family in helping the government address social problems such as unplanned pregnancies, mental health problems, job loss, and sexual harassment.
DSWD spearheads the current celebration of the 28th National Family Week (September 21-27).
DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said the National Committee on the Filipino Family (NCFF) adopted the sub-theme, “Mapagkalingang Pagtugon at Proteksyon sa Bawat Pamilyang Pilipino Mula sa Mga Suliranin sa Gitna ng Pandemyang Covid-19”.
“The sub-theme partly appeals to all concerned agencies and organizations to be relentless in strengthening and promoting the unity, solidarity, and stability of the Filipino family, especially that the family sector faces many social problems amid this crisis, including unplanned pregnancies, loss of jobs and livelihood, mental-health problems, and gender-based violence, and others,” she said.
The City of Manila, as host local government unit (LGU) for the 28th National Family Week, has announced it will hold a webinar in partnership with Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA).
The webinar will tackle strengthening family relationships through responsible parenting and positive discipline.
On September 26, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) will host “Usap Tayo sa FP (Family Planning) with Doc Jeepy” via Facebook to discuss the myths and misconceptions about family planning to help address the issue of unplanned pregnancies during the quarantine.
DSWD has ;ilewise announced the availability of social workers who are trained on psycho-social first aid and critical incident stress debriefing through its Human Resource Management and Development Service (HRMDS) and their partners.
HRMDS also extends psychosocial interventions to locally stranded individuals as part of its services for the vulnerable sector during this public health emergency.
The Local Government Code of 1991 mandates the LGUs to provide psychosocial services to their constituents, especially those affected by disasters or are experiencing a crisis, HRMDS said. (Christine Cudis/PNA)