MANILA An official of the Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday described the signing of the Mental Health Law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte as a move that opens the much-needed assistance and medical intervention to those who have suffered long from mental disorders.
"It is much needed and definitely a great benefit. It opens the door to more resources in terms of accurate data, and more sustainable interventions," said Health Undersecretary Herminigildo Valle in a text message to Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Valle said the law will further strengthen some of the existing programs of DOH in addressing the mental health gaps, prevention and control, and other interventions.
The law was crafted to mainly provide affordable and accessible mental health services for Filipinos.
In an earlier statement, Senator Risa Hontiveros, principal author of the bill in the Senate, described the signing of Republic Act 11036 or the Mental Health Law as a path for the government's policy in integrating mental healthcare in the country's public healthcare system.
The law would secure the rights and welfare of persons with mental health needs and mental health professionals; provide mental health services down to the barangays; integrate psychiatric, psychosocial, and neurologic services in regional, provincial, and tertiary hospitals; improve mental healthcare facilities; and promote mental health education in schools and workplaces.
"No longer shall Filipinos suffer silently in the dark. The people's mental health issues will now cease to be seen as an invisible sickness spoken only in whispers, Hontiveros said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency