Congress of the Philippines

12/12/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/12/2022 05:11

Proposed Mental Health Service Act for SUCs OKd

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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Proposed Mental Health Service Act for SUCs OKd
12 December 2022 06:02:55 PM

The House of Representatives stayed true to its commitment to the
needs of state universities and colleges (SUCs) by approving on final
reading House Bill (HB) No. 6416 which strengthens the mental health
services of SUCs and appropriates budget for it.

The proposed SUCs Mental Health Service Act was approved on Monday by
227 affirmative votes during the last week of plenary sessions of the

"It is hereby declared the policy of the State to uphold the basic
right of every Filipino to sound mental health and ensure access to
appropriate interventions, therapy, and treatment as needed. Pursuant
to this mandate, the State shall institute policies to promote the
mental health and wellness of students, faculty, teaching and
non-teaching staff, and other personnel in the campuses of SUCs
through, among others, the establishment of a Mental Health Office in
all SUCs, and the hiring, deployment, and training of additional
SUCs-based mental health service personnel," the lawmakers noted.

Under Section 4 of HB 6416, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
shall require all SUCs to establish a Mental Health Office (MHO) in
all their campuses, subject to the rules and regulations of the Civil
Service Commission 3 (CSC) and the Department of Budget and Management
(DBM), and the policies, standards, and guidelines of the CHED.

The MHOs shall set up campus hotlines with dedicated and trained
guidance counselors to provide assistance to the whole SUC Community,
especially the students. Special attention shall be given to those
identified to have mental health problems or conditions, especially
those at risk of committing suicide.

The CHED and the SUCs, through their MHOs, shall initiate and sustain
a heightened campaign to raise the collective consciousness about
mental health. The awareness campaign shall give special emphasis to
the issues of suicide prevention, stress handling, mental health and
nutrition, and guidance and counseling. The campaign shall ensure that
the whole SUC community, especially the students, is aware of
in-campus mental health services.

Section 5 of the bill also requires the SUCs to hire, train and deploy
mental health professionals, including a psychologist, to the MHO to
ensure that each SUC shall have mental health professionals or mental
health service providers within five (5) years from the effectivity of
the Act.

The 2021 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFSS) of the
University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) presented
this year has revealed a dramatic decline in the mental wellbeing of
young Filipinos. The study noted that about six in 10 youth who
experienced symptoms of depression did not reach out to anyone for
help, and even fewer went to professionals for help. The Department of
Health said that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to growing
mental health needsof Filipinos, adding that at least 3.6 million
Filipinos are facing mental health issues during the pandemic.

The authors of the measure were House Majority Leader Manuel Jose
"Mannix" M. Dalipe, Reps. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, Jude A. Acidre,
Greg G. Gasataya, Lordan G. Suan, Mark O. Go, Maria Fe R. Abunda, Bai
Dimple I. Mastura, Jefferson F. Khonghun, Rudy S. Caoagdan DPA, Carl
Nicolas C. Cari, Paul Ruiz Daza, Eulogio R. Rodriguez, Mikaela Angela
B. Suansing, Ma. Victoria C. Co-Pilar, Zia Alonto Adiong, Alfelito
"Alfel" M. Bascug, Raoul Danniel A. Manuel, Marissa "Del Mar" P.
Magsino, Rhea Mae A. Gullas, Ma. Lucille L. Nava M.D., Franz Pumaren,
Samuel S. Verzosa Jr., Jose Gay G. Padiernos, Maria Carmen S. Zamora),
Eric R. OLY Buhain, Ron P. Salo, Stella Luz A. Quimbo, Ruth
Mariano-Hernandez, Alan "Aldu" R. Dujali, Antonieta R. Eudela,
Francisco Paolo P. Ortega V, Joselito "Joel" S. Sacdalan, JC Abalos,
Marlyn L. Primicias-Agabas, Edsel A. Galeos, Kristine Alexie B. Tutor,
Charisse Anne C. Hernandez, Mercedes K. Alvarez, Jose "Joboy" S.
Aquino II, Lani Mercado-Revilla, Elizaldy S. Co, Kristine
Singson-Meehan, Antonio "Tonypet" T. Albano, Wilter Y. Palma, David
"Jay-jay" C. Suarez, Bienvenido M. Abante Jr., Jose C. Alvarez, Ma.
Rachel J. Arenas, Claudine Diana D. Bautista-Lim, Raul Angelo "Jil" D.
Bongalon, Fernando T. Cabredo, Mary Mitzi L. Cajayon-Uy, Arthur F.
Celeste, Luisa Lloren Cuaresma, Gerardo "Gerryboy" J. Espina Jr., Ed
Christopher S. Go, Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, Teodorico T. Haresco Jr., Roy
M. Loyola, Francisco Jose "Bingo" II F. Matugas CPA, CESO, LLB, Romeo
S. Momo, Tobias "Toby" M. Tiangco, Alfonso V. Umali Jr., Joseph
Gilbert F. Violago, Divina Grace C. Yu, Jose Maria R. Zubiri Jr.,
Adrian Jay C. Advincula, Cheeno Miguel D. Almario, Loreto S. Amante,
James "Jojo" A. Ang Jr., Dean Asistio, Maria Vanessa C. Aumentado,
Bonifacio L. Bosita, Jorge "PATROL" Bustos, Edgar M. Chatto, Jaime D.
Cojuangco, Ambrosio C. Cruz Jr., Ricardo S. Cruz Jr., Sergio C.
Dagooc, Sittie Aminah Q. Dimaporo, Ernesto M. Dionisio Jr., Wowo
Fortes, Jaime R. Fresnedi, Dante S. Garcia, Maria Angela S. Garcia,
Edwin L. Gardiola, Anthony Rolando T. Golez Jr., Ramon Rodrigo L.
Gutierrez, Daphne A. Lagon, Sonny "SL" L. Lagon, Carmelo "Jon" B.
Lazatin II, Wilbert T. Lee, Antonio B. Legarda Jr., Gerville "Jinky
Bitrics" R. Luistro, Edward Vera Perez Maceda, Allen Jesse C.
Mangaoang, Doris E. Maniquiz, Ma. Rene Ann Lourdes G. Matibag,
Margarita Ignacia B. Nograles, Emmarie "Lolypop" M. Ouano-Dizon,
Joseph Stephen "Caraps" S. Paduano, Arnan C. Panaligan, Augustina
Dominique "Ditse Tina" C. Pancho, Salvador A. Pleyto, Ramon Jolo B.
Revilla III, Princess Rihan M. Sakaluran, Dimszar M. Sali, Ma. Alana
Samantha T. Santos, Joseph S. Tan, Caroline L. Tanchay, Jocelyn P.
Tulfo, Patrick Michael D. Vargas, Rosanna "Ria" V. Vergara,
Christopherson "Coco" M. Yap, Wilfrido Mark M. Enverga, Marie
Bernadette G. Escudero, Mario Vittorio "Marvey" A. Mariño, Carlito S.
Marquez, Peter B. Miguel, Roman T. Romulo, Laarni Lavin Roque, Irene
Gay F. Saulog, Christian Tell A. Yap, Luis Raymund "Lray" Jr.
Villafuerte, and Ronald V. Singson.(END)