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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

“Comprehensive Mental Health Act” gets House ok
21 November 2017 01:25:10 PM

The House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading on Monday House Bill 6452 which aims to establish a national health mental health policy to enhance the delivery of integrated mental health services and to promote and protect the rights of persons availing psychiatric, neurologic and psychosocial health services.

The purpose of the bill, also known as the “Comprehensive Mental Health Act,” is to ensure a community of Filipinos who are mentally healthy, able to contribute to the development of the country, and attain a better quality of life through access to an integrated, well-planned, effectively organized and efficiently delivered mental health care system that responds to their mental health needs in equity with their physical health needs.

Mental health refers to a state of well-being in which every individual realizes one’s own potential; is able to cope with the normal stresses of life; can work productively and fruitfully; and make a contribution to the community.

Rep. Angelina Tan (4th District, Quezon), chairperson of the committee on health, and Rep. Chiqui Roa-Puno (1st District, Antipolo City) previously sponsored the bill on the floor.

Ultimately, the proposal wants to ensure that Filipinos are able to contribute to the development of the country and are able to attain better quality of life because their mental needs are assured along with their overall physical and health needs.

The bill integrates mental health care in the general health delivery system, especially in the programs of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). It also promotes the study of mental health in both elementary and secondary educational systems to prevent depression, obesity, and teenage pregnancy among students of this age group.

It intends to promote mental health, protection of the rights and freedoms of persons with mental health needs and the reduction of the burden and consequences of mental ill-health, mental and brain disorders and disabilities.

The bill provides for the rights of a person with mental illnesses or who is being treated for a mental illness such as the right to freedom from social, economic, and political discrimination and stigmatization, whether committed by public or private sectors; access to treatment, with the same quality and standards as other individuals in a safe and conducive environment; access to treatment which address holistically their needs through a multidisciplinary care plan approach; access essential health and social services that enable one to recover and achieve the highest attainable standard of mental health without risk of impoverishing the patient or the family; and the health patient shall put in a solitary confinement, among other things.

It seeks to strengthen the functions and reconstitutes the composition of the Philippine Council for Mental Health (PCMH) which was created under Executive Order 470 and attached to the DOH to provide a coherent, rational and unified response to mental health problems, concerns, and efforts through the formulation and implementation of the National Mental Health Care Services Delivery System.

It mandates the local government units (LGUs) to establish or upgrade hospitals and facilities with adequate and qualified personnel, equipment and supplies in providing mental health services and in addressing psychiatric emergencies.

Authors of the bill are House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, Minority Leader Danilo Suarez and Deputy Speakers Romero Quimbo, Pia Cayetano, and Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Reps. Ron Salo, Karlo Alexei Nograles, Jericho Jonas Nograles, Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Chiqui Roa-Puno, Tomasito Villarin, Carlos Isagani Zarate, John Marvin Nieto, Edward Vera-Perez Maceda, Scott Davies Lanete, Maria Carmen Zamora, Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, Manuel Jose Dalipe, Michelle Antonio, Ma. Lucille Nava, Joaquin Chipeco, Jr., Deogracias Victor Savellano, Salvador Belaro, Jr., Gus Tambunting, Edcel Lagman, Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Kaka Bag-ao, Emmi De Jesus, Sarah Jane Elago, Arlene Brosas, Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, Pablo Ortega, Mark Go, Ruby Sahali, Evelina Escudero, Alfred Vargas, Ma. Lourdes Aggabao, Micaela Violago, Anthony Bravo, Romeo Acop, Estrellita Suansing, Michelle Antonio, Sol Aragones, Cecilia Leonila Chavez, Luisa Lloren Cuaresma, Mario Vittorio Marino, Wilter Wee Palma II, Eleonor Bulut-Begtang, Harry Roque, Sandra Eriguel, Maximo Rodriguez, Jr., Florida Robes, Roger Mercado, Victor Yap, Anna Marie Villaraza-Suarez, Paolo Javier, Celso Lobregat, Federico Sandoval II, Ferjenel Biron, Alfredo Garbin, Jr., and Jose Enrique Garcia III. / MVIP