Hontiveros urges mental health support for families affected by Taal

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Sen. Risa Hontiveros. (Photo courtesy by eTESDA)

BATANGAS, Philippines — Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros urged for mental health support for families affected by the Taal eruption, especially children and those in evacuation centers.

“Kailangan ng mental first aid,” Hontiveros said on Sunday. “Maaaring may dalang trauma ang sakuna. Kasama ang mga relief packs at hygiene kits, bigyang-pansin din natin ang play therapy sa mga bata at counseling sa mga magulang,” she added. 

“Psychological and psychosocial support should be part of disaster response. I urge the Department of Health to mobilize mental health professionals and volunteers to respond to this need,” she furthered.

“Kasama ang mental health response sa disaster response dahil sa Philippine Mental Health Law,” the Akbayan Senator, who authored the said law, explained. “Nawalan ng bahay at hanapbuhay ang marami nating mga kababayan.  Malaki ang stress na dulot nito. We need to make sure that our survivors are able to cope well,” Hontiveros furthered.

“Para naman sa mga bata, maaaring hindi nila lubos na naiintindihan ang mga nangyayari. Ayon sa mga mental health professionals, pwedeng magkaroon ng mga laruan at play therapy sa mga evacuation centers,” the Senator said. 

The Senator committed to help DOH in deploying volunteer mental health professionals in evacuation centers. “I’ve been talking to mental health professionals.  Gusto nilang tumulong. We will assist in deploying them alongside DOH efforts,” Hontiveros committed. 

The Senator will visit two evacuation centers in Batangas today to survey the situation. (STACY  ANG/IAMIGO/Currentph.com) 

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