Apart from medicines, psychosocial therapy and training have helped psychiatric patient Bong Jizon.
“Medicine alone is not enough. Kailangan naming ‘yung (we need) psychosocial rehabilitation kasi (because) this is the holistic treatment,” said Jizon who has bipolar disorder.
So far, Bong has gradually developed the confidence to do music and hosting — the two things that he loves most.
A Department of Health and World Health Organization report shows seven Filipinos attempt to commit suicide every day.
Number one cause of this attempt is depression, especially among youth ages 18 to 25.
This prompted a mental health group to push for the approval of the bill that aims to provide the said therapy.
“Hindi lang ito para sa mga taong depressed, wala sa sarili, o mga taong may epilepsy, kundi pati yung mga nakaranas ng di kanais-nais na mga karanasan gaya ng sa bagyo, gaya ng gyera (This is not only for people who are depressed, psychotic, or epileptic. It is also for people who have gone through traumatic experiences such as calamities, and wars),” said Dr. June Lopez of the Philippine Psychiatric Association.
The bill aims to intensify the country’s mental health services.
It also looks to include mental health education in school curriculum from elementary to college level.
“Kasi marami sa atin ang hindi nakakaintindi ano ba ang mental health na yan? Di ba para sa may topak lang yan… sa mga gusto lamang magpakamatay? Hindi. Iyan ay para sa lahat na maintindihan natin kung anong ibig sabihin ng lusog isip o mental health. At hindi lamang yan para sa mga mayroon nang sintomas,” Dr. Lopez said.
(Translation: Many of us do not understand what mental health is. You might ask: “Isn’t it for the ‘crazy’ people only, for the suicidals?” No. It is for everyone’s benefit to understand what mental health means. And it is not only for people who have symptoms [of mental disorder]. )
The Philippine Psychiatric Association added that even those affected by calamities and war, such as affected residents in Marawi, need psychological intervention or rehabilitation.
“Psychosocial intervention para mapanumbalik ang isip, damdamin at maintindihan ng mga tao kung ano yung mga pinagdaan nilang trauma (to restore their normal way of thinking and feeling and to let people understand the trauma they have been through) ,” Dr. Lopez said.
The bill is slated for the 3rd and final reading at the House of Representatives when the session resumes this month. – Abi Sta. Ines | UNTV News & Rescue
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