WATCH: Celebrities call for the passing of Mental Health Act in the Philippines

  • Celebrities took part of a campaign to call for support in the petition to pass the Philippine Mental Health Act
  • The MH Act was filed in 2015 but was not signed into law by the Aquino administration
  • 200K signatures are needed for the petition to be delivered to the legislators

Various entertainment celebrities and personalities appeared in a public service announcement raising mental health awareness as mental illnesses persist in the country.

In a video by the Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPA),  the celebrities took part of a campaign petitioning for the passage of the country’s first-ever Mental Health Act (MH Act), which has been delayed for 15 years.

Celebrities and personalities like Ian Veneracion, Angel Aquino, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Lauren Young, Sam YG, Rico Blanco and more called for the end to the stigma surrounding mental health.

To gather support, the PPA is calling on everyone to sign the online petition for the passage of the MH Act.

According to the campaign website, MHActnow.org,  the World Health Organization reported that 1 in 5 people suffer from mental health problems worldwide. In the Philippines, for every 10 million Filipinos, only 5 psychiatrists are available. Furthermore, most health insurance companies still don’t cover mental health-related issues, and the stigma still weighs heavily on people suffering from mental illness.

“Mental Health Act is created by different individuals and organizations who are concerned for Filipinos with mental health problems, but do not receive the treatment they need and deserve,” the PPA said.

The petition  have now garnered more than 15K supporters. Once it reaches 200,000 signatures, the petition to have the MH Act passed will be delivered to the Philippine legislators.

The mental health legislation, House Bill 5347 and Senate Bill 2910, filed by Vice President Leni Robredo and by Senator Pia Cayetano in 2015, were not signed into law during the Aquino administration, unfortunately.

A good news is that, according to an article published by CNN, mental health will be on the list of priority concerns of the Department of Health (DOH) in the Duterte administration.

Recently, the DOH signed an agreement with the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation  (NGF) to establish “Hopeline,” a 24-7 suicide counseling hotline. The project will be rolled out in September.

Watch the video below:

 

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