By Billy Begas
The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure that will establish a mental health clinic in San Jose Del Monte City in Bulacan.
House Bill 9980, authored by San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes was unanimously approved with 196 votes.
The proposed mental health clinic will be funded and managed by the local government unit in conjunction with the Department of Health (DOH).
Robes said the bill is very timely in the midst of the many mental health problems and issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mental health has been widely ignored and less prioritized by the government as our country has been considered one of the poorest in terms of mental health resources. The problem of mental health has even been more pronounced as we encounter the many ill-effects of COVID-19 with the lockdowns and social distancing which have prevented us from being with our friends and engaging in personal interactions and connection with other people,” Robes said.
The World Health Organization has noted increased levels of negative impact of the pandemic in the mental health of individuals all over the world.
In the Philippines, Frances Prescila Cuevas, head of the National Health Program of the DOH said at least 3.6 million individuals suffer from mental disorders.
The proposed San Jose Del Monte Mental Wellness Center will provide various services including counseling and therapy, crisis counseling and intervention, medication, evaluation and management, group therapy, mindfulness meditation, after-hours care and other psychiatric services.
It will also provide psychotherapy services to patients on a multiple of issues including the management of difficult emotions, anxiety and stress, childhood trauma, cross cultural issues, life transitions, depression, parenting issues, post-traumatic stress disorder, domestic abuse and family and interpersonal conflicts.