Town’s mental health efforts lauded
CEBU, Philippines — For the second time, the municipality of San Remigio in northern Cebu bagged the grand prize in the province-wide competition for excellence in mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) conducted by Americares-Philippines.
San Remigio was recognized for its “outstanding effort” on mental health with its 221 barangay health workers (BHWs) actively initiating MHPSS activities.
Americares is an international organization that aims to save lives and improve health. It focuses on helping mentally-challenged people, with the support of local government units (LGUs), Department of Health (DOH), Province Health Office and the community.
Aside from San Remigio, Americares also recognized Borbon, first runner-up; Dalaguete, second runner-up; and Talisay City and City of Naga as finalists.
In an interview, San Remigio Mayor Mariano Martinez said he was happy and inspired to do more as it was the second time his town won the same award. The first one was in 2017.
“It is a happy feeling nga the efforts are recognized ba. Padayon pa mi ani kay actually, it is my inspiration to do more kay I realized nga naa na nga problema gyud and hopefully, we will be better or more equipped to address these problems,” Martinez said.
Martinez extended his gratitude to Americares for the recognition and its support to the town’s mental health programs.
He also thanked their partners and supporters, especially the community, as he pledged to further strengthen San Remigio’s mental health program.
San Remigio has 230 reported mental health-related cases.
To address the growing number of cases, the town has adopted resolutions on mental health with implementing rules and guidelines, as well as set a budget of P1.7 million for medicines alone and another separate budget for psychosocial support activities and personnel.
The town also has a mental health facility with separate rooms for consultation, treatment and counseling.
Americares country director Paul Gwyn Pagaran said that the award is presented to municipalities and cities in the province with institutionalized programs in mental health in terms of governance, fund allocation, program implementation and services, as well as documentation and record-keeping. —/JMD (FREEMAN)