ASSMCA offers PAS line for those in emotional distress

By John McPhaul

Carlos Rodríguez Mateo, the administrator of the island Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Administration (ASSMCA by its Spanish initials), reminded citizens on Monday of the availability of the PAS Line as an option to receive guidance and counseling in difficult and unexpected situations that could affect the emotional state of any individual.

“We recognize that sometimes shocking situations come into our lives. Usually we try again and again to cope with them, but things do not always happen as we want. It is there, where perhaps we feel that the forces are giving way and we can not overcome it. In fact, we get tired, we think about throwing in the towel and we even experience different emotions that could lead us to make extreme decisions such as wanting to threaten our own life,” Rodríguez Mateo said in a written statement. “However, every problem has a solution. The important thing is to keep fighting and seek help. At the ASSMCA PAS Line, we are that alternative of emotional support. We have a group of professionals available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to serve our people with the sensitivity and commitment that each particular case deserves.”

The ASSMCA administrator said there are several ways to contact the professionals of the PAS Line. One is by phone through the number 1-800-981-0023, or 1-888-672-7622 for people with hearing and speech impairments, as well as through the mobile application that can be downloaded from Google Play and Apple Store. In the application, people will have the opportunity to communicate and share their concerns openly by text while chatting live in an environment of complete confidentiality.

Rodríguez Mateo also pointed out that some risk factors that could influence an individual’s decision to commit a suicidal act are significant losses, use of alcohol and drugs, presence of mental disorders, and drastic changes in life, as well as serious physical illnesses.

Additional factors are family or financial problems, family history of abuse, history of suicide in the family or any other unexpected and stressful situation that affects emotional stability.

Rodríguez Mateo emphasized the importance of paying attention to the warning signs that could increase the probability of a suicide.

“Generally, people who are considering suicide as an alternative to leave their problems behind tend to have sudden changes in mood, consume alcohol or drugs, take little interest in work, stay away from family and friends, and take risks that could lead to death, including reckless driving,” he said.

The ASSMCA administrator added that other warning signs are changes in eating or sleeping habits, issuing comments such as “I will soon stop causing problems” or “I don’t care anymore,” talking about feeling empty, desperate, trapped, or having a great feeling of guilt or shame, of being a burden to others and even of not having a reason to live. Other signs are giving away valuables, writing a will or making funeral arrangements, inability to communicate and feeling unbearable physical or emotional pain.

“Without a doubt, in life there will always be ups and downs that cause stress, as well as feelings of pain, anger and frustration. These negative emotions may build up and at any moment flare up,” Rodríguez Mateo said. “However, although life is full of tests that seem insurmountable, with help mechanisms such as the PAS Line you can learn tools that allow you to properly channel your emotions and try to visualize the problem from another perspective. Let us be that facilitating entity that will reach out to you so that you can continue fighting and taking firm steps that will help you break down barriers. Give yourself the opportunity of a new dawn. Contact us today.”

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