CEBU, Philippines — A P7.2-million mental health facility is now fully operational in Pinamungajan, Cebu.

The outpatient facility, built in the vicinity of JM Borromeo Memorial District Hospital, is intended for individuals from the town and the neighboring local government units who seek medical intervention.

Chief of Hospital Dr. Feleus Bascon the Cebu Provincial Government has allocated P7.2 million for modifying the hospital building to add the facility.

Bacon added the service is free to those who qualify as indigent. The Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) will assess and determine that the patient is indeed indigent, based on the records of the Provincial Information Office.

Psychiatrist Dr. Glenda Basubas stressed that people with mental disabilities should be treated and taken care of instead of just leaving them to wander aimlessly in the streets.

Basubas, who will be supervising the mental health out-patient facility, said there are now modern, affordable and effective medicines for mental health patients that do not turn the patients into “rigid or spaced-out” individuals.

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She added that the new kind of medicines will help patients become functional. The patients will be trained in tasks that can help them earn income, like making key chains as souvenir items.

Doctor Shiela Faciol, of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) Public Health, also shared stories how mentally-disabled patients recovered after regularly taking medicines.

Pinamungajan Vice Mayor Honeylette Yapha-Lingad said there is a growing number of people with mental health problems who need this kind of help. She added that their local government unit grateful to have been chosen as the project site for the facility.

“Sauna kung naay ingon ani (mentally-disabled family member), ila na lang i-priso, but now naa na tay Mental Health Out-Patient Services here,” said Lingad.

Board Member Christopher Baricuatro said the PB authorized the release of the P7.2 million fund to modify the building to accommodate the mental health out-patient facility.

He added that another P6.7 million is also allocated to ensure that the mental health of their constituents in the first, second, third and seventh districts would be attended to.

Baricuatro, who is also the PB’s Chairman for the Committee on Health, said the PHO eyes to partner with the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) to implement the program in these four districts through scheduled visits and consultations.

Department of Health (DOH) mental health coordinator Dr. Emalyn Fernandez said that the department will download the P700,000 fund for mental health medicines next month. (FREEMAN)



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