Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured the public that with the IRR, people with mental health disorder and their families would be provided with necessary assistance.
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DOH issues rules on mental health law
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Hoping to put an end to the stigma surrounding mental health disorder, the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday issued the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the National Mental Health Act.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured the public that with the IRR, people with mental health disorder and their families would be provided with necessary assistance.

“We want to send a message to those living with mental health issues that you are not alone. We are committed to giving you the support you need,” Duque said.

“There is hope, recovery is possible and there is no shame in talking about your condition and getting help,” he added.

Duque said the DOH would bring mental illness out from the shadows and put an end to the stigma associated with mental health disorders.

Upon effectivity of the IRR, Duque said the DOH would work with local government units in providing free mental health care services, particularly to the poor.

“We will prioritize giving free mental health services to the poor and the disadvantaged until we have sufficient proceeds from sin taxes to provide the same services to all,” Duque noted.

He said the DOH has been giving free mental health services, although it is not sufficient.

Data show about 3.5 million Filipinos suffer from mental health conditions.

“Although we have made steps to extend help for those living with mental health conditions through the National Mental Health Policy, many Filipinos still do not get the help they need,” Duque said.

He said there is still a huge gap in the capacity of government health facilities in providing basic mental health services.

But with the full implementation of the law signed in July last year, Duque is optimistic that the government’s capacity to provide mental health services will greatly improve.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH MENTAL HEALTH DISORDER
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