The Daily Manila Shimbun


No mental crisis among Marawi residents, but 30,000 sought help, OCD official says

August 11, 2017

Some 30,000 displaced residents from war-torn Marawi City have sought mental help, an official said on Friday.

But Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said the situation involving the internally displaced people was not of a "mental crisis.

"I wouldn’t characterize it as a mental crisis, to be honest. And because a mental --- a crisis is something that you cannot address or you are not addressing, or you do not recognize," he said.

In this case, he said the government is recognizing the situation on the ground.

"Your Task Force --- even the government and the private sector --- we are recognizing that there are needs of our people on the ground, of our IDPs. And we’re responding to those needs. So in that sense, this is not a crisis because we know what their needs are and we are responding the best way we can to their needs," he said.

He said the concerned government agencies are conducting services to IDPs, such as psychosocial first aid, stress debriefing, and psychiatric treatments to varying age groups.

"And to date, approximately 30,000 persons have availed of these services. Again, these are --- some of these are basic services. Basic, like psychological first aid, and all that, consultations with experts," he said.

Purisima said there are a "few recorded cases of mental issues" but the Department of Health has been addressing this.

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law in Mindanao shortly after the Islamic State-Maute Terror Group attacked and started occupying Marawi on May 23.

Thousands of Marawi residents have been displaced. Celerina Monte/DMS