SENATOR FILES BILL THAT SEEKS ESTABLISHMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH OFFICE IN SUCs
SENATOR Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada filed a measure that aims to strengthen the mental health services in State Universities and Colleges.
Senate Bill 1508 or the State Universities and Colleges Mental Health Service Act
mandates the Commission on Higher Education to require all SUCs to establish a Mental Health Office in their campuses.
Estrada said that depression, anxiety and behavioral disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
He cited the Adolescent Mental Health report of the World Health Organization that revealed that one in seven 10-19 years old globally experiences a mental disorder.
Meanwhile, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among those aged 15-29.
“There is a need to establish Mental Health Offices in all our SUCs, and to strengthen our already existing campus MHOs to ensure easy access to mental health care for the well-being not only of our vulnerable youth population, but of the faculty, teaching and non-teaching staff and other personnel in the campuses of our SUCs all throughout the country,” Estrada said in his explanatory note.
The MHO shall set up campus hotlines with dedicated and trained guidance counselors to provide assistance especially to the students.
Special attention shall be given to those who have mental health problems or conditions, especially those at risk of committing suicide.