The country’s cops need more mental health training.
Senator Risa Hontiveros has called out Quezon City cops for planning to sue a person who reportedly tried to take her own life.
Hontiveros reminded policemen about their duty to serve and protect instead of quickly punishing people especially those with mental illness.
“There are 3.6 million Filipinos struggling with mental health problems. Ikukulong ba natin sila when they need help the most? ” she asked on Twitter.
“She needs to be in a hospital, not a jail cell. Uulitin ko ang mandato ng pulis: Serve and protect,” she added.
The senator was reacting to a Philippine Star report that QC cops plan to file charges against a 22-year-old woman who supposedly tried to end her life at a firing range last weekend. The cops reportedly wanted to charge the woman woman for alarm and scandal, damage to property, and reckless imprudence.
Hontiveros expressed dismay with the latest police action towards the woman. She said the police previously showed cruelty towards a person with mental health issues when a former soldier was shot at a Quezon City quarantine checkpoint last April.
“This is not the first time the police has been cruel towards persons w/ mental illness. Remember Winston Ragos,” Hontiveros said.
“@pnppio must look into better training for dealing w/ situations like this. First priority: save lives, not punish people the first chance we get,” she said.
Hontiveros also urged the Department of Health to fully implement the country’s mental health law. She said the health department must strengthen its services down to the community level.
“Now more than ever, we need to step up how government takes care of its people. Every life matters,” she tweeted.
Hontiveros is the author and principal sponsor of the landmark Mental Health Law, that provides affordable and accessible mental health services for Filipinos. Republic Act No. 11036 was signed by President Duterte in 2018.
There are 3.6 million Filipinos struggling with mental health problems. Ikukulong ba natin sila when they need help the most?— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) October 15, 2020
She needs to be in a hospital, not a jail cell.
⁰Uulitin ko ang mandato ng pulis: Serve and protect. ⁰https://t.co/w2j5RnLCGd https://t.co/KvrLSFuDLg