December 8, 2023

The Department of Health-Cordillera launched a project set to spark a mental health revolution in the region.

The project, dubbed “Reaching individuals for self-empowerment through unified partnerships” or RISE UP aims to promote self-empowerment and mental health awareness through unified partnerships with stakeholders including the community members, local leaders, and vulnerable population such as the youth.

DOH Usec. Dr. Enrique Tayag emphasized the importance of mental health, which plays a key role in an individual’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

He detailed the nine signs of mental health concerns, namely feeling anxious or worried, feeling depressed or unhappy, emotional outbursts, sleep problems, weight or appetite changes, quiet or withdrawn, substance abuse, feeling guilty or worthless, and changes in behavior or feelings.

Tayag said if someone experiences at least four of the symptoms, they must consult a mental health professional.

Dr. Alfonso Regala of the Health Promotions Bureau said the DOH envisions a Healthy Pilipinas where people choose healthy behaviors.

He cited one intervention for health literacy is the use of Lusog-Isip app, the first mobile app for mental health and self-care culturally-adapted for the Philippines. It uses evidence-based screening tools and interventions to help individuals journey towards better overall well-being and healthier coping strategies.

The Lusog-Isip app is available on android. It contains self-care kits that can be downloaded on the Healthy Pilipinas page.  

“Adults and young adults who are experiencing mental distress can ask questions, they can journal their thoughts, and they can talk about their emotions. There will be a link where they can be referred to a medical professional,” Regala said. He added, however that the tool cannot be a substitute for an actual consultation. – Aprila W. Cruz