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Mental health law to combat stigma about depression, Gatchalian says

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Following the signing of the Philippine Mental Health Act or RA 11036, the government is moving to change how Philippine society views mental illness, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said.

“I am hopeful that this law will cause the unfortunate social stigma surrounding depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions to fade away, so that eventually our society as a whole will come to accept mental illness for what it really is – a genuine public health issue that requires accessible medical care, consistent government support, and compassionate social understanding,” he said.

Senators have lauded the enactment into law of the mental health bill and the government’s efforts to promote mental health awareness and provision of affordable and accessible mental health services to Filipinos suffering from mental disabilities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) report showed a total of 2,558 cases of Filipinos committing suicide in 2012, averaging to seven cases per day.

While the Department of Health (DOH) reported that one in five Filipino adults suffer from mental illness such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

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