June 24, 2024

Members of the Baguio City Mental Health Council met to plan measures to address the increasing number of suicide cases in the city.
The meeting led by City Health Services Office OIC Celia Flor Brillantes and other members of the council including representatives from the academe and mental health advocates agreed that there is a need to strengthen peer counseling programs especially for high schools and colleges.
The council will lead capacity building sessions and expand peer counseling membership in the academe to involve students of allied health in the implementation of programs related to mental health.
Brillantes pitched for the revival of the Bonjing Project of the city government where teachers will become mental health advocates and help in peer counseling.
The Bonjing Project started in 2004 with five modules on public health and is now being implemented through an online platform.
The modules included suicide talks with the CHSO and had saved three students who inquired through the Internet regarding suicide.
The council also recognized the need to review school policies on mental health to come up with information, education and communication materials not only to address mental health concerns but also to inform learners and teachers of the different ways they can take care of their mental health.
The council also saw the need to educate parents on mental health by integrating the topic during meetings of the Parent Teachers Association.
Other plans include use of social media through the posting of videos and podcasts for mental health awareness.
A crisis center focusing on mental health is also in the plan.
Helplines are CHSO – 0919-069-6361; Mental Health and Wellness Unit – 661-7910; Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Psychiatric Department – 0919-207-0736; Benguet General Hospital Psychiatric Department – 0917-899-8727, 0966-351-4518, 0908-639-2672; National Center for Mental Health – 0995-093-2679, 0918-402-9832; Philippine Mental Health Association Cordillera Chapter Inc. – 0917-517-2083 and 442-2337, and 911. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan