April 18, 2024

City Health Services Office Mental Health Unit Coordinator Ricky Ducas and his organization and city government’s partner, the Anxiety and Depression Support Group (ADSG)-Baguio City were awarded the Bronze Award for Healthy Pilipinas Awards program of the Department of Health.

Ducas received the trophy and the medal last week. 

The winners were recognized in a program held on October 27, 2023 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

Ducas and ADSG-BC were cited for their commitment and initiative in promoting the community’s mental health and rescue.

Highlights of their achievement centered on their commitment and compassion to many vagrants with psychosis.

Ducas said this is with the help of the City Health Services Office, Baguio City Police Office, BCPO-Women’s Desk, City Social Welfare and Development Office, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Psychiatry Mental Health Support and Services, Baguio City Emergency Medical Service, DOH-Cordillera Mental Health Unit, and ADSG-BC board members and advisers.

“This breakthrough would not have happened without the compassionate community that continues to learn about non-traumatic rescue, a strategy of not using force in rescuing vagrants,” he said.

He said the dedication of ADSG-BC and ADSG Youth Volunteers goes a long way in continuously monitoring their rescues and those who sought their help before.

At present, Ducas and the ADSG-BC are spearheading efforts and programs to meet the city’s people’s often-overlooked mental health issues and are creating a blueprint for comprehensive mental health support that goes beyond mere awareness campaigns, reshaping the conversation about mental well-being, and cultivating a compassionate community in which everyone’s mental health is important.

“Others would criticize; others may doubt your ability, but they will never doubt or question your passion or your love for what you’re doing. That passion is something they can never take it away from you,” Ducas said.

This year, ADSG-BC together with different line agencies and Baguio Mental Health Council will take part in provision of voluntary services of the Warm-In Center program of the CHSO for Baguio residents and vagrants with a package of support for the mental health and wellness of the community.

Residents who want to volunteer for the Warm-In center can write a letter with their intention addressed to Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes, acting chief of City Health Services Office.

Residents or people who need someone to talk to can reach their helpline at 0919-069-6361, available every day from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m. – Irish Shantel Gutierrez and Aileen Refuerzo