Senator seeks P160M funding for kids’ mental health
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Saturday proposed the creation of a line item for mental health programs in the Department of Education (DepEd) amid the “alarming prevalence” of bullying in schools and the growing number of learners who attempted or died by suicide.
In a statement, Gatchalian said he would propose the inclusion of a budget item under DepEd for mental health with a funding of P160 million for 2024.
“This is a very concerning phenomenon in our school system, and I would recommend increasing the budgetary allocation for mental health programs to address all of these concerns,” said Gatchalian during a hearing of DepEd’s proposed budget for 2024.
The senator expressed shock after he was shown data that 7,892 students attempted suicide and 1,686 learners died by suicide from 2017 to date. —Melvin Gascon