The increasing number of cases involving depression among the youth in Palawan poses a strong challenge to the government to intensify its mental health care services delivery, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) said on Tuesday.
Abigail Abala, head of the PSWDO, said that in order to address the rising number of depression cases especially the young people, the provincial government is set to enter a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Mental Health Association Inc. (PMHAI) that will further strenghten Palawan’s program for mental health.
She explained that mental health is an important component of a person’s total health condition, and without it, a person is therefore unhealthy.
“Without mental health you cannot say that you are healthy. So napakahalaga na magkaroon ng malusog na pag-iisip ang isang tao dahil dito nakasalalay on how you can be an effective person, an effective worker, an effective member of our society, kaya we want mental health to be one of the priorities,” she said.
Last week, Governor Jose C. Alvarez met PMHAI President Lina Laygo and Dr. Carolina Rayco and other officials and discussed their strategies to further promote and advance mental health care services.
PMHAI also intend to establish a local chapter in Palawan to help advocate for mental health care across the province’s 23 municipalities.
Ablaña admitted that Palawan lacked medical professionals specializing in mental health care and similar field, therefore it is a challenge on their part to implement the province’s mental health care services program.
“Patuloy ang ating pakikipagtulungan sa PMHAI dahil alam natin na kulang ang ating mga professional on psychology and psychiatry dito sa Palawan,” she said.
The ProvinciaI Board already gave Governor Alvarez a go signal to sign and enter into a MOA with PMHAI. It was in 2018 when the provincial government first entered a MOA with PMHAI.