Mental Health Education in Schools Urged

Manila Bulletin, February 19, 2017 | Go to article overview

Mental Health Education in Schools Urged


By Hannah L. Torregoza

Senator Risa Hontiveros is urging school administrators and student leaders to integrate mental health promotion and services in their schools so they can immediately respond to the mental health needs of their students.

Speaking at a forum organized by the Youth Coalition for Mental Health at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Hontiveros noted that most schools are unprepared to handle the mental health needs of their undergraduates.

Hontiveros, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, has been pushing for the passage of Senate Bill 1190 or the Philippine Mental Health Act, which aims to integrate mental health services and programs in the public health system, including in the schools, to institutionalize campus-based interventions and awareness campaigns for mental health.

"The Philippines is one of the few countries in the world without a comprehensive mental health law. Our schools should not only be institutions of learning, but also places to nurture sound mental health," Hontiveros stressed.

Citing Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, the senator said about seven Filipinos commit suicide each day; on the other hand, one in five young people have thought about suicide and took steps towards it. …

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