June 20, 2024

The government, through the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children, is taking proactive measures to address mental health concerns among the youths, particularly focusing on suicide risks in educational settings in the Cordillera region.

The Department of Health, civil society organizations, and other RSCWC members are intensifying their programs to address mental health-related issues in children, aligning with the priority set in the Regional Plan of Action for Children 2024-2028. 

Shamgar Mangida of DOH Cordillera said they have been conducting interviews, and providing training to enhance professionals’ capacity, particularly in identifying and addressing risk behaviors among adolescents.

“We have been conducting itong training ng mga foundational course for the healthcare providers on how to address the risk behaviors of the adolescents, especially sa ating mga schools,” Mangida shared in a meeting recently.

Challenges such as the lack of robust referral networks and data privacy concerns are being addressed through collaboration with various stakeholders, including government agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and community-based groups.

“We are partnering din hindi lang sa mga government and intergovernmental agencies natin, at hindi lang sa mga community-based natin, at hindi lang sa mga government-based. Example is the Police Regional Office-Cordillera and then the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Education,” he added.

The commitment of the DOH extends to improving mental health services and data sharing, ensuring individuals in need receive the necessary support and care. 

Efforts such as establishing a regional mental health technical working group under the regional implementation team is also underway to streamline initiatives and enhance the implementation of mental health programs.

For queries and assistance, the DOH-CAR Mental Health Helpline is 0917-899-8727. – Debbie Gasingan with Novelyn Metua