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Local Health News
Mental Illness Still Neglected In The Philippines
Condensed by L.D. Ramirez (sourced from a Manila Times article by Micah Yvana M. Vardeleon)

Philippine Population To Exceed 107M By Dec 2018 Attract Image01
The latest Department of Health (DOH) data also shows that up to 10 - 15 % of children and up to 17 - 20 % of adults in the Philippines have mental illnesses.


Mental illness, which ranked third in the most common disabilities in the Philippines, still lacks attention.


Proper mental health treatment is hindered by a huge wall of denial among family members of the mentally ill person, blocking the opportunities that could have maximized their potential and improved their state.


To top it off, at present, many facilities have unqualified health workers and do not provide holistic care to their patients.


WIDESPREAD PROBLEM

A study by Bloomberg, a leading data company, pointed out four factors thatcontribute to the increase of mental health problems:

(01) Increased cases of pre-term, birth and genetic disorders,
(02) Low quality of prenatal diagnoses and new infant vaccines,
(03) High number of over-thirty pregnancies, and
(04) Lack of public awareness.


The latest Department of Health (DOH) data also shows that up to 10 - 15 % of children and up to 17 - 20 % of adults in the Philippines have mental illnesses.


However, there are only about 700 psychiatrists and about 1,000 psychiatric nurses in the country.


Philippine Population To Exceed 107M By Dec 2018 Attract Image02

THE MENTAL HEALTH LAW

In an attempt to resolve these problems, an advocacy headed by the Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPA) was launched in June 2016. It pushed for the approval of the Mental Health Law to protect the rights of the mentally ill and to expand opportunities for their well-being.


Improvement in the capacity of health workers pertaining to their knowledge, attitude, and practice is another goal of the advocacy.


Finally, the PPA is working toward the establishment of the Philippine Mental Health Council, which could provide unified responses to these problems.


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