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Mobile app offers mental wellness for Macau OFWs

THE Department of Labor and Employment yesterday announced that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Macau has rolled out a pioneer app-based health intervention system out to provide social services to Filipino migrant workers in Macau.

The app, dubbed ‘Kumusta, Kabayan,’ is an electronic health monitoring system designed to improve the well-being of OFWs, especially during the current coronavirus pandemic.

The mobile app was launched during the recent Health Connection Project for overseas Filipino workers organized by the University of Macau and Caritas Macau, with the support of the Philippine Consulate General and POLO in Macau Special Administrative Region.

The Health Connection Project will be implemented until December to better support the OFW community and to enhance their well-being, where Filipino workers in Macau are invited to use the ‘Kumusta, Kabayan’ mobile app as well as its website to understand and improve their mental health conditions.

“Like other demographic groups, overseas Filipino workers in Macau have also experienced physical or mental health challenges caused by uncertainties during the COVID-19 pandemic,” POLO Macau said.

The system was originally developed by the World Health Organization for populations with limited access to mental health services.

With the help of researchers at universities and social organizations, different language versions of the system (including Chinese version) have been developed and tested in different regions of the world. It has been proven to be useful in helping users cope with stress and emotional disturbance.

POLO said Caritas Macau, which is part of the Caritas Internationale, has worked with the UM in implementing the program following the WHO’s guidelines and adapted the system into the mobile app ‘Kumusta, Kabayan’ for overseas Filipino workers in Macau.

Users of the app can monitor their health condition by answering health-related questions on a weekly basis.

The project has held onsite recruitment at local churches, service centers under Caritas Macau, and every Sunday in the Philippine Consulate General in Macau SAR and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.

Information about the recruitment and online recruitment activities are available on the Facebook pages, websites, and other social media platforms of the WelAnser Centre of Caritas Macau, the Philippine Consulate General in Macau, Philippine Overseas Labor Office, and UM’s Centre for Macau Studies.