Mayor Joy Belmonte wants mental health a top priority in Quezon City.
She said the city government has already taken initial steps to promote mental well-being, particularly in schools.
“As early as last year, we have extended assistance to public schools by hiring justly compensated mental health professionals like therapists and counselors who will recognize mental health warning signs early on and provide short-term counseling and crisis interventions,” she cited.
Apart from school interventions, the city is also investing in treatments and other “holistic approaches that focus on care over and above treatment.”
Amid recent reports of increasing number of students being diagnosed with mental health illnesses and those committing suicide, Belmonte said the city government has boosted its efforts in creating programs to assist individuals seeking help and to curb the rise in cases.
To further boost the city’s existing efforts, the City Council approved and confirmed Ordinance No. SP-3158, S-2022 or the Quezon City Mental Health Code localizing the National Mental Health Act and incorporates all existing mental health programs of the city into one, comprehensive legal framework.
The city government recently established mental wellness access hubs in each of its six districts to disburses free prescription medicine to persons with mental health disabilities, and that assessment by specialists for anxiety and depression are also available for those with no access to prescriptions.
It also hired more mental health professionals to be assigned in different fields, such as in the Persons with Disability Affairs Office, to help contribute to policy making and conceptualization of programs, and in resident care facilities for the disadvantaged and marginalized.