The Senate finally approved the third and final reading of Senate Bill No. 1354 also known as the Philippine Mental Health Act of 2017. It may have taken a while, but we’ve finally hit another positive political milestone.
Mental health advocates Antoinette Taus, Jerika Ejercito, and Miss International Kylie Verzosa were all present when the bill was passed yesterday. They even took to Instagram their celebration as they posted photos, one of which was captioned, “Fighting the good fight.”
“This is a historic day for all of us,” said our previous Preen Sessions speaker Sen. Risa Hontiveros. She added, “After being one of the few countries left without a mental health policy, we are now one step closer to realizing a national mental health law to comprehensively address the Filipinos’ mental health needs and ensure that our rights as persons with mental health needs are protected and secured.”
— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) May 2, 2017
The act seeks to establish a national mental health policy in order to integrate the mental health services and programs in the public health system. As reported by the Inquirer, Sen. Risa also said that “[the act] mandates the government to roll out basic health services at the community level as well as psychiatric, physiological, and neurologic services in all regional, provincial, and tertiary hospitals.”
Sen. Risa further talked about how the Mental Health Act will ensure protection of every individual suffering mental health conditions. “Sa lahat ng hindi makatarungang sinabihan ng sira-ulo, lukaret maluwag ang turnilyo, may sayad, baliw, abnormal, may topak, emo, praning, sinto-sinto, at buang dahil sa maling pang-unawa sa issues sa mental health—para po sa inyo ang batas na ito,” (To everyone who have been called crazy, abnormal, and other names because of misconceptions on the issues of mental health—this law is for you.) said the Senator.
Isn’t this good news in the morning? We totally think so.
Photo courtesy of Kylie Versoza’s Instagram account