/ 6 March 2023

TO ADDRESS the rising cases of mental health problems among the youth, San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes urged the House of Representatives to declare the month of February as “Buwan ng Nag-uusap na Pamilya.”

“A simple conversation with our children may be that last sliver of hope to save their lives before it is too late. Hence, this representation calls for a measure declaring the month of February as the ‘Buwan ng Nag-uusap na Pamilya.’ There is no greater love than the unconditional love of family,” Robes said.

She said the recurring “theme” in suicide stories is the lack of “effective” communication among family members.

Robes said that the government should take the lead role in addressing rising cases of mental health problems by creating a multi-agency task force to spearhead programs and activities that will create mental health awareness among family members in communities.

In her privileged speech, Robes revealed that depression, suicide, and mental health disorders have been plaguing the Filipino youth prior and even after the Covid19 pandemic.

The Bulacan lawmaker cited a study conducted by Global School-Based Student Health Survey Philippines which showed that an estimated 17 percent of youth in the 13-17 age bracket attempted suicide at least once a year.

The same study showed a doubling of suicide ideation and suicide attempts among the youth from 2013 to 2021 where children and young adults, aged 15-24 have considered ending their lives.

The same survey said that in 2013, 574,000 or 3 percent of Filipino youth attempted to end their life.

“This is heartbreaking. As parents, we ought to be the first people that our children run to in times of need. Tayo dapat ang unang sumbungan at takbuhan ng ating mga anak, ang hinahanap nila kapag sila ay malungkot o nasasaktan,” she said.