It’s okay not to be okay

Last week, I was able to share on how to “survive” the new normal. There are many ways to handle all our anxieties, worries, fears, and sadness. But there are some people who tried different means of managing stress but still could not cope.

It is okay not to be okay. Help is available. It is okay to ask for help. There are people who will be there for you.

When is the time when you or someone you know is not okay? Here are some signs and symptoms to watch for:

> Sleep problems – the inability to sleep, cannot sleep, or early morning awakening
> Weight or appetite changes
> Excessive anxieties or worries
> Social withdrawal
> Emotional distant
> Feeling depressed or unhappy
> Can’t cope with the daily routine
> Using alcohol or drugs to cope
> Feeling unworthy or guilty
> Significant changes in behavior
> Emotional outburst
> Thinking of death by suicide
> Always tired, no energy
> Negative thoughts
> Concentration difficulties
> Blank expression

Please remember that having a mental health condition is not a choice, it is not attention-seeking, it is not an excuse or something that that be cured instantly. Sometimes it is not always visible. But it can be managed or even cured like any other medical condition.

There is always HOPE, as long as we are alive and breathing. Help is available. Healing is possible.

Negros Occidental has seven active psychiatrists. We also have more than 30 licensed psychologists. Most schools and universities have licensed guidance counselors. Help is available.

Government institutions like the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental have Mental Health Unit under the Provincial Health Office. I was able to share their helpline last week. They trained medical staff to answer your call when you want to reach out and talk to them.

Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) has a section on psychiatry and behavioral medicine. You can consult with their psychiatrist and psychologists by calling or texting this number 0942-075-4900 for an appointment.

The City of Bacolod has a health center in Paglaum Village. You can reach them by calling (034) 700-0647

Riverside Medical Center has a wellness clinic.

There are also private institutions like CARe Psycho-Social Support and Consultancy Services, Talking Turns Therapy Clinic, Crisis and Psychotrauma Crisis Center in LCC; Expocare–Center for Psychological Services; White Coat Medical and Laboratory Services; Psyche Health Assessment and Counseling Center and more. Most of them offer counseling, psychological testing, training, coaching, and other assistance.

There are also non-government organizations like Negros Occidental Drug Rehabilitation Foundation Inc. (NODRFI) in Victorias and Negros Occidental Rehabilitation Foundation Inc. (NORFI) in Lacson Street.

If it is related to substance abuse, there is help in Better Days Ahead Recovery Center and New Beginnings Foundation Inc.

To get a copy of the Mental Health Services directory in Negros Occidental, please contact me at

HOPE, HELP, and HEALING are real.*

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