COVID-19 has impacted people’s mental health around the world and created anxiety in otherwise healthy individuals.
In 2020, before the pandemic hit, WHO reported that more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression, making it the leading cause of disability.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health has continued to report that the COVID-19 pandemic, which upended livelihoods and routines, continues to exert a toll on the mental health of Filipinos.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the deaths in 2020 due to intentional self-harm grew by 25.7%, making it the 27th leading cause of death last year.
Depending on the patient, doctor and facility, the cost of mental health counseling in Metro Manila can range between P1,000 and P4,500 per session—and the frequency or need for such counseling varies.
To seek professional help amid these trying times, here’s a list of mental health care facilities that offer psychiatric help—some for free, some for a fee.
1. National Care for Mental Health (NCMH)
Contact: 5319001, 09178998727
Cost: Consultation fee is P400.
Address: Nueve de Pebrero St., Mauway, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
The National Care for Mental Health offers free basic counseling, psychological first aid, and suicide prevention. The NCMH has also opened their “E-konsultasyon” program wherein you can have free online psychiatric sessions.
2. Philippine General Hospital (PGH)
Cost: Free consultation
Address: 2/F Ward 7, 1730 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila
PGH provides free psychiatric consultation and counseling services through personal check-ups. Long queues are expected since this is a public hospital, but consultations are available for 24 hours.
3. Ateneo Bulatao Center
Contact: 426-5982, 426-6001 local 5268
Cost: Brief Psychological Service (BPS), free; psychotherapy, initial fee costs P2,500 while the succeeding therapy costs P2,000 per session.
Address: Ateneo de Manila University, Bellarmine Hall, Father Masterson Drive, Katipunan Ave, Quezon City, 1108 Metro Manila
The Ateneo Bulatao Center offers counseling therapy, assessment, and training workshops for children, adolescents and adults. Due to a high number of clients, they have temporarily closed their sign-up form for their BPS. You may, however, visit their Facebook page for more updates. They also post mental health tips and reminders that may help you during times of crisis.
As for their regular paid psychotherapy session, you may fill up this form. These sessions are conducted by licensed psychologists and therapists to help you address mental health concerns.
4. Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center (ARMMC)
Contact: 89480595, 89410342
Cost: Free consultation
Address: Sumulong Highway Sto. Nino, Marikina City
Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center’s acute psychiatric unit offers free basic psychiatric consultation and psychological testing.
5. UST Graduate School’s Psychotrauma Clinic
Contact: 4061611 local 4012
Cost: Free evaluation
Address: España Boulevard, Sampaloc, Manila
This clinic offers free psychological services including assessment, evaluation, counseling, group or individual therapy of the patient. The clinic is open from Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
6. UP-Diliman Psychosocial Services (UPD PsycServ)
Contact: You can send them a text or Viber message through 09063743466 or 09167573157
Address: 209B Lagmay Hall, Roxas Avenue, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
The University of the Philippines Diliman Psychosocial Services provides free counseling and psychotherapy sessions. They are currently offering free telepsychotherapy services to COVID frontliners, COVID-positive individuals, relatives of the frontliners, and anyone who is deeply affected and disturbed by the pandemic.
In need of daily tips on how to manage yourself and others throughout this pandemic? UPD PsycServ also offers a variety of infographics that may help you overcome your problems. Visit their Facebook page.
7. GrayMatters Psychological and Consultancy, Inc. Philippines
Contact: 8938 0726, 0917 709 6961
Alabang branch: Penthouse A, South Gate Building, Finance Drive, Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang Muntinlupa City 1780
Makati branch: Unit 408, Plaza I, La Fuerza, Chino Roces, Makati City
GrayMatters provides mental health care services in the Philippines. They have various resources such as e-learning, digital assessment, and online counseling and consultation. They also provide online private consultations for therapy with licensed therapists.
They also give tips on how to cope with stressful times, dealing with anxiety, self-care and many more. Visit their Facebook page.
8. Mental Health First Responders (MHFR)
Contact: 0995 356 5332
Mental Health First Responders provides emotional and peer support only through online private sessions. The volunteers and mental health professionals will meet you via a phone call (online, phone, or text) to help you reduce your fears and anxiety during the pandemic. If you are interested, you may visit this form to sign up.
Peer support services are free. If the volunteer deems you need a licensed counselor, psychologist, or a master-level clinical intern, their fees will be adjusted depending on your financial capacity. The fees may range from P500 to P2,000.
(Thumbnail and banner photo from Shutterstock)