Unattended Mental Health Needs: Adult Students in the Philippines during the Early Weeks of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Norman B. Mendoza1, Allan B. I. Bernardo2*, and John Ian Wilzon T. Dizon3

1The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines
3Angeles University Foundation, Angeles City, Philippines



A survey of 3,032 university students in the Philippines during the beginning of the  COVID-19 lockdown in the country (March to April 2020) revealed that 44.66% met the cutoff  score for generalized anxiety symptoms (GAD-2) and 62.40% reported having very bad to bad  sleep quality; these symptoms are also negatively correlated with measures of psychological  well-being. We also found that, among those screened by the GAD-2, 40% (n = 542) and 51.55%  (n = 698) met the cutoff score for moderate and severe anxiety on the GAD-7, respectively. The  sector of the Philippine population lost their usual access to mental health services in their  school campuses, and the paper describes how their mental health needs during the pandemic  remain unattended, as university campuses remain closed even eighteen months after.

*Correspondence: Allan B. I. Bernardo, allanbibernardo@dlsu.edu.ph