La Salle offers free online counseling service

Anna Gabrielle Cerezo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2020 05:28 PM | Updated as of Apr 06 2020 09:29 PM

MANILA -- The De La Salle University Psychology Department is offering free mental health counseling services to persons affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The initiative, Telepsychology for the Lasallian Community, is offered to frontline workers, COVID-19 patients, persons under investigation (PUI), persons under monitoring (PUM), and members of the Lasallian community experiencing mental health issues during the enhanced community quarantine.

The program is adapted from the American Psychology Association's (APA) guidelines for telepsychology.

Telepsychology is defined by the APA as a psychological service that uses telecommunication technologies such as telephone call, interactive videoconferencing, email, chat, text, other internet sources (e.g., self-help websites, blogs, and social media), etc.

Along with online counseling, psycho-educational materials, and webinar sessions will also be provided.

“The purpose of this program is to respond to the increasing mental issues that frontliners as well as the Lasallian community who are experiencing severe stress, anxiety and psychological issues brought about by the enhanced community quarantine,” the group posted on its Facebook page.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is natural to “feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry,” during a crisis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that stress can manifest as fear and worry about one’s health and loved ones, changes in sleep/eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, aggravating chronic health problems, and increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

Eating healthy, exercising, staying connected with loved ones, adopting a regular routine, focusing on what can be controlled, following DOH and other experts, limiting exposure to news and social media and only checking at a specific time, are among the tips the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) shared to help lessen stress during the COVID-19 crisis.

According to the CDC, studying the actual risk of the virus, verifying facts, and sharing accurate information can also reduce stress.

For those interested, Telepsychology for Lasallian Community may be reached through their Facebook page or email them at tlc.dlsu@delasalle.ph.