Jun 21, 2018

“Every day, seven Filipinos turn to suicide. One in five Filipino adults also suffers from a form of mental disorder,” says Senator Risa Hontiveros, author and principal sponsor of the Philippine Mental Health Bill.

The sad reality is that because of stigma and myths, not many people have been aware of and talking about mental health. At least not until the past few weeks.

But we woke up to a great news today: President Rodrigo Duterte has finally signed Republic Act No. 11036 or the aforementioned bill into law, securing the rights and welfare of persons with mental health needs.

“It cements the government’s commitment to a more holistic approach to healthcare—that there is no health without mental health,” says Hontiveros, who filed the bill in Oct. 2016. “Help is here.”

Aside from Hontiveros, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Loren Legarda, Antonio Trillanes IV, Bam Aquino, Juan Edgardo Angara, and Joel Villanueva also authored the bill.

Here are the things we should expect from the government once the law takes effect:

  • Basic mental health services down to the barangay level
  • Integration of psychiatric, psychosocial, and neurologic services in regional, provincial, and tertiary hospitals
  • Improvement of mental health facilities
  • Promotion of mental health education in schools and workplaces

We’re still keeping an eye for the other provisions of the law as The Official Gazette of the Philippines hasn’t published the approved version of it yet.

As the senator says, no one has to suffer silently in the dark anymore.


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Read more:

This is how you can stay mentally healthy at work
We only remember mental health when someone (famous) commits suicide
Remembering Ren Hang: the eroticism of mental health

TAGS: care health and wellness nolisoliph philippine mental health law rissa hontiveros