June 17, 2024

A mental health advocate, registered nurse Ricky B. Ducas worked as an overseas Filipino worker for some time where, in addition to his regular job, has volunteered to care and provide basic life support for underprivileged and abandoned children.

Coming home to Baguio later, Ducas found mental health care as his niche, a comfortable area in life; after being diagnosed with panic anxiety disorder (PAD) himself. With support from family and friends, he slowly gained his confidence to get back to normal living.

He helped establish the Anxiety and Depression support group, which extended services to individuals with mental health concerns and those with mild depression and suicidal tendencies in the city and as far as the Mountain Province.

He responds to distress calls using personal resources and serves as a lecturer on mental health concerns in schools, to local government units, and private institutions, pro bono.

Ducas and his group spearhead provision of psychological first aid, psychosocial processing, assessment and consultation, and referral of clients to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center for medical and interventions.

He also helped the city council in the passage of a city ordinance on mental health, which helped the city receive a citation from the Department of Health for being one of the top cities nationwide that implement mental health program and advocacies.

Also a member of the city’s mobile vaccination team, he continues to work in mental health, medical missions, and wellness programs; helping people regardless of their age, gender, status, and ethnicity.