MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has recently announced the necessity to give full mental health support to individuals living with mental health concerns.
This was announced during the Second Mental Health Summit that culminated 17 October 2019 at the Novotel, Quezon City.
The said gathering was attended by more than 100 participants from various mental health organizations, stakeholders, regional, provincial, city and municipal health officers who also pledged their support and commitment to the implementation.
“We should move forward to implement the mental health law and unify our efforts in the delivery of mental health services both in the health and non-health sectors. We must bring all key players together both in the government and private sectors, implementers, advocates and users of services alike, and forge a common understand and one direction to take in ensuring the delivery of an integrated mental health services in the country through a truly whole of government and whole of society approach,” DOH Undersecretary Myrna C. Cabotaje said.
“It is also about time to look back and assess our commitments along with the universal health care agenda, which aims to deliver health services that will ensure every Filipino family has access to both primary and specialty care services – including mental health which includes the assessment of service users using the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) intervention guide and the provision of medicines when indicated or referral to the next level of care.”
Cabotaje also said “recovery from mental illness is possible. We should not be ashamed in asking for help. We all need help sometimes and if we are capable of helping others, let us offer it. We need to everything we can to safeguard our mental health.”
The World Health Organization claimed one out of four people in the world might be affected by mental or neurological disorders. There are about 450 million people who suffer from various mental health concerns which places mental disorders among the leading causes of disability worldwide.
According to the 2000 Philippine Census of Population and Housing, mental illness and mental retardation placed third and fourth, respectively among the types of disabilities that affect the country.
Meantime, Calabarzon Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo, on his part also gave an assurance that all persons with mental health problems in the region will be provided better access to mental health services through a better referral system.
“Once a patient is identified and diagnosed with mental-illness, he/she will be given proper care and treatment and this will continue even if they are admitted to a mental institution or outside the community,” Janairo said.
“Kailangan malaman ng pasyente na may aantabay sa kanya, hindi sya iiwanan at mararamdaman niyang may masasandalan siya sa kanyang pangangailangang pangkalusugan, ‘yan ang essence ng universal health care.” ((Glen Ramos/BCuaresma/IAmigo/CNS)