Delos Santos proposes creation of SAP to offer psychosocial support to students

By: Wenilyn Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 11,2023 - 02:22 PM

Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos

Cebu City Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos| CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos is proposing the establishment of a “Student Assistance Program” (SAP) to especially provide psychosocial support to elementary and junior and senior high school students here.

The program’s implementation, she said, will help address the “alarming increase” in suicides among the students.

During the Council session on Wednesday, March 8, Delos Santos introduced to the legislative body her draft ordinance entitled “An Ordinance Establishing a Student Assistance Program for all Public Schools offering Elementary, Junior and Senior High School Education in the City of Cebu and providing funds thereof.”

If approved, the city government will already be able to extend psychosocial support to students based on referrals.

According to the draft ordinance, a team that consist of guidance counselors and school designated teachers will help in the SAP’s implementation.

They will be made to undergo program orientation and training together with the representatives from the Barangay Behavioral Health Unit, City Health Department (CHD), and Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS).

Delos Santos said that DSWS will be tasked to issue the guidelines for the program’s implementation.

In addition, DSWS will also be tasked to coordinate with the CHD, Department of Education, and guidance counselors of the different schools here in coming up with the forms, questionnaires, and other documents that will be used in the SAP’s implementation.

Meanwhile, the draft ordinance said that the SAP will start with referrals.  This means that anyone can make a referral when they notice a family member of friend manifest maladaptive behavior and mental health concerns.

Based on the referral, concerned individuals will conduct a case conference and identify the needed interventions.  They will also come up with recommendations based on the client’s progress.

Interventions will be closely monitored and follow up sessions with their clients will also be scheduled.

The guidance counselor is tasked to contact the parents of the client to obtain their informed consent and permission to proceed with the SAP process.

Services that are offered under the program include assessment, identification, education, intervention, seminars, and workshop services, among others.

“The SAP team does not diagnose or treat; therefore, if there is a need to expand the program aimed at preventing mental illness, the client should be referred to the Barangay Behavioral Unit who in turn will conduct further assessment/diagnosis and do a referral for students who may need further treatment,” Delos Santos said in her drafted measure.


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TAGS: assistance, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos, DepEd, health, mental, ordinance, program, student

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