Mental health pushed

CEBU City Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos has asked Mayor Tomas Osmeña to use the lot occupied by the temporary CCMC as the site of Neurobehavioral Science Institute of the city.

Delos Santos, in a privilege speech during the regular session last week, said the issue on mental health should be among the concerns that must be given attention.

The councilor recalled incidents in Cebu involving people diagnosed with mental illnesses.

“There is a strong evidence of an epidemic of a long neglected medical condition known as mental illness that, sadly, medical societies have failed to acknowledge and treat, and which society has stigmatized,” she said.

Delos Santos said the undiagnosed and untreated individuals with mental illnesses who show aberrant behaviors can disrupt peace and order, create havoc in families and schools, increasing the number of juvenile delinquencies.

Delos Santos said she’s glad Sen. Risa Hontiveros introduced a bill mandating that all local government units should address mental health issues in their areas.

But even before that, Delos Santos said the City has already passed an ordinance creating the barangay behavioral health units in its 80 villages.

According to delos Santos, Dr. Anna Katrina Oaminal-Watin has said that the National Government should look into the capability of public and private hospitals to handle patients with mental conditions.

Watin said that mental health in the country is often neglected because of several contributing factors and treatment is expensive and not readily available.

In Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (CCMC), the mental facility designed to accommodate 60 patients now houses more than a hundred. (RVC)
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