Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday has lauded the signing of Republic Act 11036 or the Mental Health Law which will provide a national mental health system and address the concerns of Filipinos who are in need of accessible mental health care.
Villanueva, one of the authors of the measure, has pushed for the inclusion of a provision in the Mental Health Law which will standardize collection and management of data and promote evidence-based research on youth suicide and institutionalize the 24/7 national hotline for suicide prevention.
"Help is on the way. We thank the President for supporting the passage of the Mental Health Law which would provide access to affordable mental health care for every Filipino,” Villanueva said.
"By making the mental health care accessible down to the barangays and promoting mental health education in schools and workplaces, this important piece of legislation would give awareness regarding mental health and remove social stigma against people with suicidal tendencies," the senator stressed.
According to the data of National Poison Management and Control Center (NPMCC) of the Philippine General Hospital, 46 percent of the total suicide cases recorded since 2010 are from the youth; 30% are young adults aged 20 to 35 years old while the remaining 16% are teens aged 10 to 19 years old.
Adding to the said data is the 2014 global report on preventing suicide by the World Health Organization which revealed that suicide is the second leading cause of death among people 15 to 29 years of age across the globe.
In the Philippines, according to the same report, the estimated number of suicides in 2012 was 2,558.
Overall, the International Association for Suicide Prevention said that more than 800,000 people die by suicide every year. Twenty-five times as many make a suicide attempt.
“Suicide is a public health issue that has not yet been given adequate attention for years. This problem may have affected someone we know, a member of our family, or within our circle of friends," the senator stressed.
"We hope that we can save someone's precious life by the immediate implementation of this landmark law," Villanueva said.