Estrada pushes for the creation of mental health offices in SUCs

(CNN) Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 5) — Senator Jinggoy Estrada has filed a bill seeking to require state universities and colleges (SUCs) to establish mental health offices (MHOs) in their campuses to help students, faculty, and non-teaching staff cope with mental health issues.

“There have been a lot of studies that have come out on the worsening mental shape of our youth today. Hindi dapat natin itong ipagwalang bahala. Dapat aksyunan ito at solusyunan. Mahalagang pagtuunan ito ng pansin nang hindi na madagdagan pa ang ating mga mag-aaral na depressed,” Estrada said.

[Translation: This should not be brushed aside. There should be action and solution. It’s important to pay attention to this to prevent the number of depressed students from increasing.]

Under Senate Bill 1508, “all SUCs shall be required to have MHOs in all their campuses, set up campus hotlines with dedicated and trained guidance counselors to provide assistance to students and teaching and non-teaching staff. Special attention shall be given to those identified to have mental health problems or conditions, especially those at risk of committing suicide,” Estrada said in a statement on Sunday.

The bill also aims to mandate the continuous training of MHOs staff to keep them updated with the latest information on mental health.

The House of Representatives has approved House Bill 6574 that also seeks to create MHOs in school divisions nationwide.