Mandaue eyes full implementation of Mental Health Ordinance in brgys, workplaces
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – Psychological intervention programs and mental health advocacies will already be made available in the 27 barangays and different workplaces in Mandaue City with the full implementation of the city’s Mental Health Ordinance.
The ordinance was passed in July.
In August, Mayor Jonas Cortes signed an executive order to convene members of Mandaue City’s Mental Health Board that will oversee its implementation.
According to Lawyer Ebenezer Daryl Manzano, head of the Mandaue City Substance Abuse Prevention Office (MCSAPO), members of the board convened for the first time on Thursday, September 7, to discuss their responsibilities and plan the ordinance’s implementation.
The city’s Mental Health Board consists of Councilors who are part of the City Council’s Committee on Health. The other members include representatives of the Mandaue City Health Office, Department of Education, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Center for Behavioral Sciences of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, among others.
During the gathering, Manzano said they also discussed their preparations for the commemoration of the World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday, September 11, the Suicide Prevention Month in October, and the Substance Abuse Awareness Month in November.
The Mental Health Board was created separate from the Local Health Board to especially focus on the mental health concerns of Mandaue City residents.
Manzano said members of the board have agreed on the need to come up with Mandaue City’s own mental health hotline that people, who are suffering from depression and other mental health concerns, can call to seek help.
But for now, calls for assistance will be made through helplines that were set up by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Health.
Meanwhile, mental health is also a priority of the Mandaue City Schools Division of the Department of Education.
Its spokesperson, Marinel Oro, said their department already implemented various mental health programs like ‘Tambagi Ko Online’ and ‘Kamustahan’ to help teachers overcome mental health concerns especially during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They also provided training for selected teachers to identify signs of mental health problems.
“From the division, naa tay gi-train nga personnel sa eskwelahan. Naa silay directive nga ilaha gyud to iroll-out sa eskwelahan mismo. Base sa information nakaroll-out na atoang mga eskwelahan before the end of last year but kahibaw ta nga dili na siya moundang didto kinahanglan gyud na nato’ng padayunon as a program, as among the priorities sad na nato sa Deped,” said Oro.
Since a representative of DepEd Mandaue sits on Mental Health Board, Oro said, they will also be presenting their needs to the board.
For example, Oro said, they will need assistance for the debriefing of parents, teachers and classmates of a Grade 8 student who jumped the 4th floor of their school building last Sept. 6. / dcb
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