Written by Adrian Chester Inojales

Health is our level of functionality to change. We may devote a large amount of attention to the standards of our physical health, but our wellness alone isn’t only defined by our physique but also by our mental capacity. When we are free from psychological problems, we can improve our living conditions, and we can live our life to the fullest.

As the Philippine Senate approved the final reading for the Senate Bill No. 1354, or the Philippine Mental Health Law, advocates appeal to the House of Representatives on having their own version of the law and extend to an agreement with the Senate.

The Mental Health advocates present include Sen. Riza Hontiveros, Jerika Ejercito, ILAW ng Maynila program director, Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, actress Antoinette Taus, and Student Council Alliance of the Philippines’ chairperson Khryzza Mae Pinzon.

The bill pursues to generate stronger mechanisms for the protection of individuals with mental health problems including affordable medical services to those who are suffering from depression and other mental illnesses.

One of the provisions of this law is to mandate the Department of Health to provide psychiatric, psychosocial and neurologic services in all their regional, provincial and tertiary hospitals.

Kylie Verzosa said it’s good that the government is taking necessary steps to alleviate people who are suffering from mental illnesses.

SCAP’s Pinzon stressed that mental health is not only for wealthy people, but for everyone regardless age, gender, and socioeconomic status. She also presented that 46% of youths are affected by MH issues: 20% are 15-24; family, school, are major reasons.

From GMA News Online, callers of national suicide prevention hotline HELPLINE are majorly composed of youths.

Also, Last November, the National Poison Management and Control Center (NPMCC) of the Philippine General Hospital presented before the Senate’s youth committee its findings that 46 percent of the total suicide cases recorded since 2010 involve young people: 30 percent were young adults aged 20 to 35, while 16 percent were pre-teens and teens from the ages of 10 to 19. (Source: GMA News)

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated an 18-percent increase in the number of people living with depression from 2005 to 2015 — roughly translating to an increase of 280 to 320 million people worldwide.  (www.who.int)