DSWD wants stronger mental health programs for children
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has called for stronger mental health programs for children.
As the nation observes the 30th National Children’s Month (NCM), the DSWD said fundamental interventions to support children’s mental health and overall well-being must be prioritized.
This year’s NCM theme is “Kalusugan, Kaisipan at Kapakanan ng Bawat Bata Ating Tutukan!”
“It calls for public support to prioritize the availability of necessary interventions to support the mental health and overall well-being of children amid the pandemic,” the DSWD said in a statement Friday.
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The DSWD cited the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) Crisis Hotline’s report, which showed that 9.7% of the overall number of calls received were suicide-related.
Of the rate, 251 were minors in distress due to feelings of sadness, anxiety, stress, bullying, family problems, and academic concerns, among other issues.
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In 2021, the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and the Consuelo Foundation organized a learning/consultation session with young participants for the 29th NCM celebration. Due to the enormous stress, children encounter both within and outside their homes, the session’s findings indicated that mental health was one of the most critical challenges facing children.
“Hence, the NCM activities for the whole month of November this year will focus on providing mental health support services for children in line with their rights to survival, development, protection, and participation,” the DSWD said.
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The DSWD, together with the CWC, National Youth Commission, and other partners, had launched celebratory activities for the 30th NCM. —Kristelle Anne Razon, trainee
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