(Legazpi City, April 1, 2022) – Preparing the mind and body for the next normal is a must to all individuals to avoid confusion, anxiety, and depression in the new normal after the long stressful months experienced during the COVID-19 virus crisis throughout the country.

This was the rationale of the forum on Gender and Women’s Health attended by the hundreds of personnel of the Provincial Government of Albay held last week March 31, 2022, at Albay Astrodome.

Organized by the Provincial Human Resource Management Office (PHRMO) headed by Officer-In-Charge Maria Teresa A. Balane and the Gender and Development (GAD) Office Dr. Rowena Ondiz, Ph. D., the health forum training seminar tackled on gender and women’s health issues in the next normal.

Windalyn G. Baluis, RN, MN, the morning resource speaker, spoke and emphasized the importance of taking care of one’s mental health.  In her talk, Ms Baluis carefully addressed the problems that existed regarding the status of women in each household, society, and even in the workforce.

Ms. Baluis also mentioned that taking care of mental health, be it with women or with men, is important so as not to feel heavy while working, as anyone is prone to this, especially those who lack interpersonal relationships or communication with peers.

She added that everyone is prone to experience stress and burnout, so an outlet such as bonding with family and friends is a must, predominantly for those who work hard or nonstop to provide for their families.

In terms of preventing suicide while at work, Baluis thoroughly explained the causes, effects, and signs if a person is currently facing it, warmly expounded on how to deal with it, discussed that expressing empathy and concern to them is a step, and consulting with a psychologist may further help them endure the stress and burnout they feel at work.

Moreover, Baluis mentioned that reaching out to a psychologist does not mean a person is insane; citing that a psychologist is a perfect person to talk to because they can give correct and better advice to people experiencing these kinds of problems.

In the afternoon session, disaster and emergency preparedness were tackled by Mr. John Eugene Vincent Escober of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO), representing APSEMO PGDH Dr. Cedric Daep. Escobar thoroughly explained the different disasters that may occur in the community.

An officer from Albay Emergency Medical Services (EMS) demonstrated how to properly execute cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on an adult and a baby during the forum. Both resource speakers also taught proper chest compression and artificial ventilation, or rescue breathing, to clear the airway of the patient.

One of the resource speakers said that one of the common breathing emergencies that may occur is choking. He classified it as “Foreign-Body Airway Obstruction” (FBAO), in which an object may block the airway of a person. It may be life-threatening depending on the size of the object and the age of the patient. Escobar further mentioned that an emergency and safety drill in the future will be executed for PGA employees as part of disaster preparedness learnings in case an emergency occurs while at work.

Jose M. Briones/Kristel Abad, Albay PIO

Photo Credits; Lorie Barcelon