Mandaue merges mental health care into City’s drug treatment program

Mandaue merges mental health care into City’s drug treatment program
SunStar Mandaue City

The Mandaue City Government is bolstering its mental health program by integrating mental health care into the treatment plans of drug users.

The goal of this program is to treat substance abuse issues while simultaneously addressing mental health needs, according to Ebenezer Daryl Manzano, head of the Mandaue City Substance Abuse Prevention Office (MCSAPO).

To accomplish this, barangay health workers are being trained to recognize signs of mental health problems so they can provide timely referrals, Manzano told reporters on Tuesday, July 2, 2024.

Manzano said barangays are now required to manage their own mental health referrals. The City is also collaborating with the Philippine Mental Health Association to hold monthly caravans offering free mental health services.

Manzano said this new program builds upon a community-based mental health initiative launched last year under the administration of Mayor Jonas Cortes. This initiative requires health workers and doctors in the barangays to refer individuals displaying signs of mental health problems to MCSAPO for intervention.

MCSAPO plays a critical role as a triage area, connecting individuals with psychologists and psychiatrists, he said.

Manzano said that integration of mental health services aims to destigmatize mental health and substance abuse, promoting help-seeking behavior. / CAV

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