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As the world celebrates Mental Health Day, Senator Francis Pangilinan said mental health care and services should be made available and accessible at the barangay level so that interventions can be felt immediately by communities.

In a statement, Pangilinan said aside from the family, barangay health workers must be among the first responders to a person experiencing depression or anxiety.

Pangilinan said he would look into the 2020 budget of the Department of Health regarding the funding for the Philippine Mental Health Law, which should include training for local government health workers.

“We have taken the first important step of enacting the Philippine Mental Health Law, which will establish national mental health policy directed toward improving the overall health of Filipinos,” Pangilinan said.

“Bilang isang bansa, dapat nating tulungan ang isa’t isa, lalo na ang may mental health issues — kapamilya man, kaibigan, katrabaho, o kahit na ang mga hindi natin kilala (As a nation, we must look out for one another, especially those with mental health issues — be it a member of the family, friends, co-workers, or even those unknown to us),” Pangilinan added.

The senator said efforts to overcome the mental health stigma should include ensuring people experiencing such issues that they can always seek help from the government or institutions that could help them.

He also called on the public to help rid the society of the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage those living with mental health conditions to get the help they need and ensure those who need help have access to the support, acceptance, and resources they deserve. (PNA)

Photo Credit: facebook.com/officialkikopangilinan

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