Mental health covers a wide-ranging number of problems such as anxiety, schizophrenia, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. Due to the effect of these illnesses, productivity is lessened significantly and communication or interaction is affected. Life at home, life at work, life with friends, all are affected, all are changed irrevocably when mental health issues are not addressed.
Survey statistics indicate that in the Philippines, over six million Filipinos are affected by and live with anxiety and other depressive orders.
The most commonly discussed topic when mental health is brought up is the problem of depression, and the reasons for and prevention of suicide, especially among the youth aged 10 up. From 2012 to 2016, data in the Philippines shows some 237 suicide cases of children between 10 and 14 years of age.Department of Health data indicates that one in five Filipino adults has some form of mental illness, most commonly schizophrenia, depression and anxiety.
The importance of providing the proper and comprehensive mental health services for Filipinos is the heart of the Mental Health Law (Republic Act 11036) which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in June 2018. The promulgation of the law sets the wheels in motion for the integration of mental healthcare into the public healthcare system.
As we await, the full implementation of the vision, what are the basic things one can do to improve mental health?
- Raise your self-esteem. Value yourself and everything you have completed and accomplished.
- Be physically fit. Take care of your body, and yourself.
- Choose to be with good and positive people. The closer to the family, the better.
- Manage your stress, cope with circumstances.
- Focus on doable things.
- Ask for helpwhen you need it.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs. Stay clean and stay positive.
The drive for mental health awareness is a collaboration among organizations and individuals. Some of the most prominent advocates are also celebrities in their own right. Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, actress Antoinette Taus, musician Rico Blanco, journalist Cheche Lazaro, actor Ian Veneracion are among the many celebrities who have pitched in for the mental health awareness effort.
Part of the global community’s commitment to addressing the challenges of mental health problems is the designation of September 10 as World Suicide Prevention Day. One of the programs asks people to TAKE A MINUTE to reach out to someone who may need help or may even be considering suicide.
The program lists these warning signs to watch out for:
- uncontrolled anger
- seeking revenge
- acting reckless or engaging in risky activities - seemingly without thinking
- feeling trapped like there’s no way out
- increased alcohol or drug use
- withdrawing from friends, family & society
- unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
- dramatic mood changes
Everyone can reach out and help, just TAKE A MINUTE.
• Take a minute to notice what is going on with you, your family, your friends and your colleagues.
• Take a minute to reach out and start a conversation if you notice something is different.
• Take a minute to find out what help is available for both you and others.
The journey to wellness and well-being is not all roses and sunshine. Many factors contribute to mental health and mental health problems. Awareness about mental health and collaboration for help and support are the most basic of actions, both of which everyone can do, both of which can help save a life.
Sources & References
Labon, C. (2018, January). Raising Mental Health Awareness. Retrieved from
Acuna, M. (2018, March). Growing number of young Filipinos committing suicide. Retrieved from
Elemia, C. (2018, June). Duterte signs Philippine Mental Health Law. Retrieved from
Coronel, R. (2017, November). Five Things to know about the Philippine Mental Health Community. Retrieved from
International Association for Suicide Prevention. (2018, September). World Suicide Prevention Day. TAKE A MINUTE. Retrieved from