The chairman of the House Committee on People’s Participation has called for the creation of mental health desks in barangays that have been placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) restrictions.
San Jose Del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes, the panel chairman, said the creation of mental health desks in the barangay level is “very urgent” after more than 3,000 Filipinos have sought help from National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) over their mental health concerns during this quarantine period.
“The need for mental health desks in every barangay is very important during this ECQ time. Barangays are the closest place where people can seek help,” Robes said.
President Duterte had earlier reimposed ECQ in NCR +, which covers Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna. The ECQ will take effect from March 29 to April 4, 2021.
“Professionals’ help is very much needed for the people [to] address their mental and emotional needs,” Robes added.
Under the 2021 national budget, the government has allocated P300 million for implementation of mental health program.
In a recent briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said NCMH has provided mental health services to 3,006 Filipinos from January to March 15.
Vergeire said anxiety and depression, stressful life event, mood concerns as reasons for the calls.
According to Vergeire, the national government is also focusing on mental health problems to assess the impact of long community quarantine.
The DOH said the public can call the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) at 0917-899-USAP (8727) and 7-989-USAP (8727).