ILOILO CITY—With the challenges posed by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Iloilo provincial government has launched a program that addresses the psychosocial well-being of Ilonggos.

IloiloProvincialCapitol - Iloilo province strengthens program on mental health
The Iloilo Provincial Capitol, the seat of the Iloilo provincial government. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) kicked off the start of the Program for Resilience of Iloilo in Mind and Emotion (PRIME).

Defensor said PRIME was part of the recovery plan of the provincial government as residents of the 42 towns and component city of Passi adjust to the new way of life.

“It is not only enough that we revive the economy, but it is also important to establish a healthcare system that will build the confidence of Ilonggos to face the new normal,” Defensor emphasized.

PRIME is anchored on six major strategies: advocacy and promotion; detection and prevention; provision of psychosocial first aid and psychosocial processing; capability-building for frontline partners and community members; monitoring and evaluation; and collaboration.

PSWDO Acting Chief Emma Ledesma said PRIME will give priority to frontline workers, returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), locally-stranded individuals (LSIs), and other vulnerable sectors.

PRIME will also extend services to the youth, who are facing depression and other mental health problems.

Defensor urged the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) to help the provincial government to detect, isolate, and counsel troubled teenagers.

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