Alaminos front-liners take 1-day mental health ‘break’
THE CITY government here has conducted a one-day mental health break for the local government unit (LGU) front-liners at the Hundred Islands National Park (HINP) as part of its mental health program amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
In an interview Monday, the city’s administrative officer Ben Jan Natividad said the mental break aims to “restart the brains and minds” of the LGU front-liners to boost their productivity in rendering services in their respective works.
“Not everyone who undergoes mental health programs has mental disorders. Sometimes the person is not mentally healthy because of stress, which results in changed functioning of the brain and affects the productivity of the person,” Natividad said.
He said the LGU front-liners of the city were given a day to relax at the HINP, while other activities such as mental health awareness briefing, psychodynamic activity ventilation, spiritual stress debriefing, reflection time, and other recreational activities were also held.
Natividad said that in one of the activities, they had the chance to vent out the stresses they encountered at work and even at home due to the pandemic.
“Among their most commonly encountered challenges in their work is paranoia. They were scared that they might get the virus and they were also worried about their family members. They were also frustrated with disobedient residents who do not follow the guidelines set by authorities during the quarantine,” he added.
He said the LGU front-liners underwent the one-day mental break by batches starting last week, before the reopening of the HINP to tourists in the first district of Pangasinan, while some more batches will undergo the same activities in the first week of July.
Alaminos City has its mental health program for its employees that includes activities such as sports activities and quiz bees.
During the pandemic, other activities were introduced such as psychological support and community support, while the comprehensive stress debriefing follows after the pandemic ends, Natividad said.
In a separate interview, Mayor Arth Bryan Celeste said the city recognizes the role of the LGU employees and the challenges they face as front-liners during a crisis.
The city launched its mental health programs last year through an executive order issued by Celes()