Proposed ‘Mental Health’ measure to benefit many, says Mandaue dad

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A MANDAUE City legislator has proposed an ordinance mandating the City to provide services to those suffering from mental health disorders, including those recovering from drug addiction.

Mandaue City Councilor Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, who chairs the committee on health, said she submitted Draft Ordinance (DO) 112-2022, or the Mandaue City Mental Health Program of 2022, in order for the City to offer services to improve the mental health of its constituents.

“Mental health is a growing concern in the community, and that mental health does not only involve organic mental disorders but also includes social issues which may trigger psychological risks caused by extreme life experiences such as disasters, near-death, heinous and violent crimes, internal displacement brought about by religious and civil unrests, as well as the psychosocial matters of daily living like preserving a sense of well- being when faced with uncertainty or the unknown,” she added.

Soon-Ruiz added that even the World Health Organization has stressed the need for more mental health services as the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the impact of mental health disorders due to quarantines and lockdown restrictions which “heightened the feelings of isolation and loneliness.”

Soon-Ruiz said through her proposed measure that she wanted to establish a comprehensive general health care approach that ensures a well-balanced mental health program and integrates mental health services into the general health and social care delivery system.

It also mandates that government employees have mental health trainings and seminars for maintaining a harmonious workplace, and the city government provides infrastructure and coordinates with non-government organizations advocating mental health significance.

Soon-Ruiz added that the proposed ordinance aims to rationalize the function of the City Health Office and the City Social Welfare Services in information dissemination, distribution of medications, and gathering data concerning mental health cases in the city.

DO 112-2022 was approved on first reading during the City Council’s regular session on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022.