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Wars, disasters take toll on Pinoys’ mental health

Posted by Mai on July 28th, 2007

The Manila Times Internet Edition

Wars, disasters take toll
on Pinoys’ mental health

Armed conflict, natural disasters and large-scale labor migration are causing mental disorders for up to a fifth of Filipino adults, psychiatrists said Friday.

Up to 20 percent of adults suffer from some form of mental disorder, with 10 to 15 percent of children suffering from mental problems, according to the Philippine Psychiatric Association.

Mental disability is a “huge public health challenge” in the Philippines since many of its citizens are exposed to various “extreme life experiences,” said Yolanda Oliveros, director of the health department’s National Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

“We’ve tried to identify the components that could influence the mental status of a person and we found that life experiences such as disasters and armed conflict” affect a person’s state of mind, Oliveros told an annual convention of the country’s psychiatrists.

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