Just when we all think the country is going down in flames, there’s salvation: Philippine Mental Health Law is here. Or as Senator Risa Hontiveros, author and principal sponsor of the bill in the Senate, phrases it, “Help is finally here.”
Filed last October 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte has finally signed Republic Act No. 11036 or the Philippine Mental Health Law, which secures the rights and welfare of people with mental health needs. Mental health patients will now be provided with PhilHealth coverage for confinement, check-ups and medicines.
According to Hontiveros, this would also “provide mental health services down to the barangays, integrate psychiatric, psychosocial, and neurologic services in regional, provincial, and tertiary hospitals; improve the country’s mental health care facilities, and promote mental health education in schools and workplaces.”
In her post, she included the suicide rate in the Philippines, and why this is a huge victory for the country. The senator states, “Every day, 7 Filipinos turn to suicide. One in 5 Filipino adults also suffer from a form of mental disorder. RA 11036 cements the government’s commitment to a more holistic approach to healthcare: that there is no health without mental health.”
With this law, Filipinos should not anymore suffer in silence. Mental health is as real as it can get, and it’s about time we talk about it.
Read Senator Risa Hontiveros’ entire post below.
Art by Bryan Sochayseng