Republic Act 11036 or the Philippine Mental Health Act signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 21, 2018 brought hope to Filipinos suffering from mental health problems. Common as mental health difficulties are, the public remains vigilant for the full implementation of RA 11036.

Mental health has once again surfaced as a primary issue during this pandemic and a month after Super Typhoon Odette. Most of us are suffering mentally. A lots of people are experiencing grief, stress, and trauma. We are badly need psychological support.

The situation we are in makes one wonder how the implementation of the Mental Health Law fairing. Do politicians, through the eyes of the law, truly see the importance of mental health? Have they fathomed people’s need for neuropsychiatric help? What remains to be done for the comprehensive roll-out of mental health services?

Over and beyond RA 11036, politicians need to deepen their understanding of everyone’s need to recover from the psyche aches of COVID-19 and Typhoon Odette. If this means that social action needs to be ramped up or social media campaigns intensified, these are certainly ways forward. Rather than indifference or neglect, our conscientization is needed to rally behind the cause of mental health.

Apart from supporting social movements, another powerful way of advancing the cause of mental health patients, service users, and families and communities reeling from mental health difficulties, is to get behind mental health professionals who have volunteered their help, despite the risks, their own scant resources, and the overwhelming need that lies ahead. Volunteering our time, talents, and treasures will help us rise and stand as one from the continuous onslaught of depression, anxiety, suicide, and hopelessness.

Taking from the action of volunteers, concerned citizens, and advocates, government should implement RA 11036 as fully as possible before it’s too late and we lose more lives to mental stress, strain, and suffering. We should act in the spirit of Bayanihan now and activate mental health programs and organizations, utilizing them at capacity in order to save lives and build back better.

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5 Comments

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Brandon Alex Chua Lee Brandon Alex Chua Lee · June 1, 2022 at 8:07 am

(Psych 109 )
How politics interfaces with the Filipino’s understanding of mental health?

As what I know so far, on how politics interfaces with the Filipino’s understanding of mental is it explains how they understand the life’s of the Filipinos on how they experienced from losing their jobs due to the covid-19 pandemic and at the same time it shows a lot of negative impact to the life’s of Filipinos which made them suffer from anxiety and depression, since it is hard for them to support their family without a job. On the other hand, during the typhoon Odette, Filipino people have experienced anxiety and depression, due to the lost of their love ones and losing their home.

Rose Anne Nacorda · June 5, 2022 at 3:31 pm

I am grateful to the government for prioritizing mental health and implementing Republic Act 11036, also known as the Philippine Mental Health Act, which provides protection to those with mental illnesses. Furthermore, the policy should be addressed to the people, especially the consequences of violating it, because there are many Filipinos who are unaware of this issue and discriminate individuals with mental health conditions. In connection, the government cannot accomplish everything without our assistance so we must begin by helping ourselves in combating Mental Illness. For example, we can educate ourselves about stress, anxiety, and other coping mechanisms like researching effective methods, doing our hobbies, and reaching out to our loved ones. If you are a psychology student, you must be a Mental Health advocate because it is the purpose of your profession to empower and assist people. As a family member, we must create a safe space in our homes where we can communicate easily with our loved ones because it is helpful to everyone’s wellbeing. As a citizen, we must understand the situation of our fellowmen because we have no idea what they are going through and we also deserve a peaceful and loving environment. And because we live in the information age where technology is rampant, we can use various media platforms to spread Mental Health Awareness and Training or Stress Management Seminars and address the government to increase access to psychological support, and the services and treatments should be budget-friendly or there should be free psychiatric consultations, etc.

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