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Roque to push for national health mental health policy

Harry Roque

UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roque would push for a national mental health policy to promote and protect the rights of persons availing psychiatric, neurologic, and psychosocial health services.

Roque, a former representative of the Kabayan Party-list group in the 17th Congress, said his proposal would contribute to the country’s development and make people enjoy quality of life.

During the 17th Congress, Roque was one of the authors of House Bill No. 6452, also known as the Comprehensive Mental Health Act, which was passed on third reading in the House of Representatives although it did not reach the Senate.

Citing the World Health Organization Special Initiative for Mental Health data, the Department of Health said that at least 3.6 million Filipinos suffer from one or more mental, neurological, or substance misuse disorders in the early part of 2020.

The National Mental Health Program (NMHP) data showed that at least 1,145,871 people suffer from depression, 520,614 from bipolar illness, and 213,422 with schizophrenia.

Under Roque’s proposal, mental health care would be integrated into the general healthcare system, particularly in the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) programs (DILG), to improve mental health, safeguard the rights and freedoms of people with mental health needs, and reduce the burden and consequences of mental illness, mental and brain illnesses, and disabilities.

The proposal would also encourage students in elementary and secondary schools to study mental health to reduce depression, obesity, and adolescent pregnancy in this age range, he also said.


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