Castilla, Sorsogon — Department of Health (DOH) launches Byaheng Kalusugan Mental Health Caravan with the theme “Make Mental Health and Well-being for all a Global Priority” at Sorsogon State University (SSU), Sorsogon City, on Wednesday, October 11.
Present during the event were the DOH Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Singh-Vergeire; Sorsogon Mayor Ester Hamor; Camille Therese Yusay, USAID Social Behavior Change Technical Team Lead; Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Sorsogon, and students of SSU.
Biyaheng Kalusugan aims to spread awareness to the general public about seven (7) healthy habits—a way to promote health to the community.
Vergeire said that according to the 2021 national survey for mental health and well-being, about fourteen (14) percent of Filipino adults develop at least one (1) mental health problem during their lifetime.
“This translates to about 16 million Filipino adults suffering from mental health issues which can include depression, panic attacks, alcohol disorders, dimentia, and sadly suicide ideation,” said Vergeire.
This month biyaheng kalusugan focuses on mental health specifically on one of the seven habits which is “care for yourself, care for others.”
Meanwhile, USAID supports the DOH for this project as it improves and enhances the well-being of Filipinos for them to live happier, healthier and have more productive lives.
USAID in collaboration with the DOH develop and launched the Lusog-Isip program, one of which is the Lusog-Isip mobile app that has already reached more than 15,000 Filipinos to help them with their self-care and mental health needs.
“It is the first ever mobile app for mental health and self-care develop for Filipinos, so it has screening tools for well-being for and coping strategies, mood journaling and access to referral networks,” said Yusay.
Meanwhile, Kristine Mañago, 19, a student at SSU taking up Bachelor in Physical Education, and one of the attendees of the event, said that as much as possible students who are struggling on their mental health will be having one room for consultation and a professional to seek medical or emotional advice.
In addition, she also said that having a mental health problem is not a laughing stock, instead, help them and have more activities regarding mental health.
“Iyong mga tao na nag-struggle sa mental health nahihirapan lugod [tuloy] sila na mag-reach out and then siguro din po ang magagawa natin [doon] para ma fix yun [mental health problem] is more activities pa po related dito. Example po dito is itong activity, and then yung talagang i-hire na mga tao is very professional para hindi po magkaroon ng ganoong stigma, hindi po matatakot ang mga students,” said Mañago.
According to Vergeire, DOH always put mental health at the core front, and that mental health issues can be addressed all over the Philippines.
The said event has different booths to visit which can help the public and the students to guide them if they are struggling with their mental health. Biyaheng Kalusugan is an initiative of DOH to fulfill the universal healthcare promise of delivering quality and affordable to every Filipino. | God Frey Las Piñas