Local Health News
Mental Health Services Now Accessible In Barangays
Condensed by L.D. Ramirez (sourced from a Philippine News Agency article by Maria Teresa Montemayor)
The Mental Health Law, signed in 2018, provides basic mental health services down to the barangay level and increases the capacities of mental health professionals.
Filipinos may now have access to basic mental health services at the community level with the signing of implementing rules and regulations of the mental health law.
Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III signed on Tuesday the IRR of Republic Act 11036 (Mental Health Law) which he said would end the stigma associated with mental illnesses.
Duque said the number of cases of patients with mental health problems is increasing. He identified the causes as both economic and social in nature like poverty, malnutrition, peer pressure and emotional trauma.
About 3.5 million Filipinos, or roughly 4 percent of the population, have mental health problems, he said.
Talking about mental health creates stigma among Filipinos but it is high time to consider it a serious issue, Duque said.
“The goal is to start the conversation. It is high time that we talk about mental health as a serious issue. It is time that we bring mental illness out of its shadows and into the light. It is time that we put an end to the stigma surrounding mental illness,” he said.
"This is important because we want to send a message to those living with mental illness that you are not alone. We want to support you. There is hope. Recovery is possible. There is no shame in talking about your condition and getting help," he added.