Last October 10-14 2016, Ospital ng Palawan celebrated the National Mental Health Week with the theme: “Kumusta ka? Tara Usap Tayo: Mental Health, Alamanin at Busisiin!” The goal was to increase awareness on mental health and to promote mental health services offered by the hospital. The Mental Health Unit in collaboration with the Hospital Health Education and Promotion Officer lead the activities by posting and distributing IEC print-outs such as tarpaulins and pamphlets to intensify the campaign in supporting mental wellness. Patients, carers, employees were among the recipients of the said materials.
The Monthly Bantay Orientation was also facilitated by the Mental Health Unit on October 11. In this psychoeducation, the patients, watchers and carers were provided with the information about the importance of mental health and its effect in our over-all well-being. They were also given tips in identifying signs of depression with suicidal behavior and most importantly, how to help people going through such situations.
The highlight of the celebration was the Public Health Convention on Mental Health at the Century Park Hotel last October 13-14 with the theme Mental Health: Stepping Up Investments for National Development attended by Ms. Hayalee Joy V. Estoya as the Mental Health Practitioner of ONP. Representatives from World Health Organization and Department of Health opened the session by presenting the global and national action frameworks on mental health. Also highlighted in the said convention was the current status and legislative challenges faced by the Philippine Mental Health Act of 2016. To further bolster the awareness and support to the advocate of mental health, the Manila Declaration on Stepping Up Investments for Mental Health was signed.
It is hoped that people will become more aware of the importance of mental health in well-being. As these collaborative efforts help reduce the stigma on mental health patients to make them more open for conversation and assistance. As a mental health maxim goes, “There is no health, without Mental Health.” (Hayalee Joy V. Estoya)