Let’s talk | SunStar

Let’s talk

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Let’s talk

Friday, May 19, 2017

FEELING low, sad, angry, confused? Do you have a lot of mixed emotions? Let’s talk.

Many mental health advocates, including me, encourages people who are experiencing mental health concerns to share their feelings and be not ashamed about it. These people usually suffer in silence. It is okay to ask for help, there are people who are willing to listen. You are not alone.

Mental health is one of the most misunderstood terms. It comes with stigma and discrimination. People think that mental health is all about being crazy or “bu-ang.”

The World Health Organization defines it as the way a person thinks, acts or feels in a life’s situation. It’s how we see ourselves, how we interact with one another and how we handle our stresses in life. It is not just the absence of a mental disorder. Mental health is really about our general disposition in life. So, there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Having a mental disorder is not bad. It is a medical condition that affects one’s perception or the way one see and thinks. It can influence one’s emotions and judgments. Like any illnesses, it can be prevented, cured and even managed.

Recently, the Philippine Mental Health bill was passed in the Senate. This is the first ever mental health bill in the Philippines. The bill was sponsored by Senator Risa Hontiveros.

The bill will integrate mental health services and programs in the public health system. This also requires the government to provide basic mental health services at the community level, as well as psychiatric, psychosocial and neurologic services in all regional, provincial and tertiary hospitals.

The bill will also protect the rights of the mental health patients and address the mental health needs of every Filipino.

The bill will also lessen the stigma and discrimination attached to mental health. It can help raise awareness.

Let us be open and share what we think and feel. Let’s talk!

Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on May 19, 2017.

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