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DOH CONDUCTS MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING FOR HEALTH WORKERS IN CALABARZON

DOH CALABARZON Nurse V and Mental Health Coordinator Ms Paula A. Calo welcomes participants to the three-day mhGAP Training and provides the introduction and updates on the Mental Health Law to city and municipal health officers including nurses of the region held at the Eurotel Vivaldi in Quezon City on February 26-28, 2019


DOH-CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) conducted the first batch of training on Mental Health Global Action Plan Intervention Program (mhGAP) to health officers, including nurses of various cities and municipalities of the region held at Eurotel Vivaldi in Quezon City on February 26-29, 2019.

Providing our health workers, the knowledge and skills in mental health will give them the expertise and confidence to recognize and respond to mental health problems in their respective community. The training helps to reduce stigma, promotes help seeking behavior, and improves recognition and response,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated.

“Recognition and response provided to a person developing a mental health problem or already in crisis is very important in order to provide immediate aid until professional treatment is received or the crisis is resolved,” he emphasized.

After completion of the mhGAP training, a participant will be able to identify the causes and symptoms of anxiety, depression, psychosis and substance use disorder; understand the link between drug/alcohol use and mental health problems; become aware of the range of treatment options; and know what emergency procedures to follow in times of crisis.

“Our objective is to equip our health workers with essential interventions in order to address various health concerns in the community. Mental disorders are both debilitating and expensive for affected individuals and their families,” he added.

According to the 2018 census on mentally ill patients conducted by DOH CALABARZON Non-Communicable Health Unit, there are 659 cases with learning/intellectual disability; 441 psychosocial disability; 293 with seizure/epilepsy; 329 with speech impairment; 633 with neurologic disorder; 128 – schizophrenia; 371 – autism; 286 – down syndrome; 69 – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); 21 are bipolar; 21 patients are suffering from depression; and 2 have mongolism cases in the region.

“With the passage of the Mental Health Law, we can provide more effective interventions on various mental health disorders including low-cost treatments such as drugs, psychological treatments, and community-based rehabilitations which are affordable, cost-effective and can successfully delivered in primary health care by trained health workers,” Janairo remarked.

The Mental Health Law (Republic Act 11036) proposes a mental health policy that aims to enhance integrated mental health services, the promotion of mental health services and protection of people who use said service.

It aims to provide mental health services at the barangay level, and integrate mental health and wellness programs in the grassroots level so that interventions will be felt by the communities. Likewise, it seeks to improve mental health facilities and to promote mental health education in schools and workplaces. Procedures for suicide intervention, prevention, and response strategies, with particular attention to the concerns of the youth, will be included in the national mental health program.

The mhGAP training was conducted by the DOH-CALABARZON Mental Health Unit headed by Ms. Paula A. Calo, Nurse V, and a team of qualified mental health professionals from the National Center for Mental Health, Quirino Memorial Medical Center Psychiatric Department, Dementia Society of the Philippines, Department of Neurosciences of the University of the Philippines, Neurology Department of with wide experience in both direct clinical service and training facilitation and presentation.