It’s annoying how people use terms for mental disorders so loosely (i.e. some of the common ones are depressive, bipolar, delusional and autistic), and sometimes label others to have a particular disorder with just the basis of initial observations. Mental disorders are not just “labels” for people who you think have problems, but they are actual diagnoses of their mental health.
This just shows how generally unaware we are about mental health, and that we definitely need a mental health law in our country. Senator Loren Legarda has filed the Philippine Mental Health Act of 2014 in November last year, but it hasn’t moved much since. Here are 8 reasons why we should support the enactment of this law.
8. Only 0.05 psychiatrists per 100,000 people in the country
7. Cases of depression
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in 2011 that the Philippines has the highest incidence of depression in Southeast Asia. In 2004 alone, the Department of Health reported 4.5 million cases of depression.
6. Suicide rates
You’ve heard various reports of people committing suicide, especially among the youth. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, PH suicide rate increased alarmingly from 1984 to 2005 In 2012, 2558 cases of suicide were recorded.
5. Lack of mental health facilities
4. Very slow process of enacting a mental health law
Members of the PPA have been trying to get in touch with the Philippine Congress for the past 15 years to legislate a mental health act. So far, the most recent was the one filed by Senator Loren Legarda. The exact reason for the delay of enacting the law cannot be identified because of the lack of information available in the Philippine Congress’ website.
3. Filipinos looking down on psychiatry
National Center for Mental Health Dr. Bernardino Vicente agreed that, even in the medical community, many look down on psychiatry as a medical practice.
2. The country and natural disasters
The aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda did not just leave various infrastructural damages, but also caused mental health problems like post-traumatic stress disorder to the people affected. This is the same case among other typhoons that hit the country.
Let’s face it, most Filipinos easily dismiss mental health disorders because we don’t know enough about it. Thus, we tend to label other people various terms like abnoy, mongoloid or even tanga or bobo. Being indifferent to these people would only bring them more harm than good.
What do you think? Do you know someone who has a mental health problem?