Mental health bill OK on 2nd reading
The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a proposed mental health act that will provide a national mental health system and address the needs of Filipinos requiring psychological care.
Filed as House Bill No. 6252, the Comprehensive Mental Health Act is a response to a need for “integrated mental health services while protecting the rights of persons availing psychiatric, neurologic and psychosocial health services,” a statement from the House of Representatives said on Sunday.
“The bill seeks to finally address one of the biggest silent killers in our country which has taken the lives of so many innocent people — depression, anxiety, bipolarism and schizophrenia, among others,” Deputy Speaker Rep. Miro Quimbo told the Inquirer in a text message.
The bill is anchored on studies that have shown that mental health is a growing concern among Filipinos. One study has shown that “one out of every three Filipinos grapples with mental issues” and others have “called attention to the lack of proper care for mental health patients who are prone to abuses,” the House statement said.
Quimbo said that the bill directed “employers to develop appropriate policies and programs for mental health in the workplace.”
Among the salient points of the bill are the reconstitution and strengthening of the Philippine Council for Mental Health; identification of the rights of persons with mental illness; the integration and development of mental health care in the community; and the provision of mental health services and facilities to drug dependents, Quimbo said.
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