3.3 million Filipinos suffer from depressive disorders, with suicide rates of about two per 100,000.
“We need to start talking about depression to end the stigma surrounding mental health because, when left unattended, it can lead to suicide,” the DOH said.
According to the World Health Organization, 800,000 people die each year due to suicide.
24-hour toll-free suicide prevention hotline: Call (02)804-4673; 0917-5584673 or send an SMS to 2919 for Globe and TM subscribers.
The Philippines passed the Mental Health Act June 2018. This is to protect the rights and welfare of people with mental health conditions, shift focus of care to the community and improve access to services.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros said that this law will help provide mental health services to barangays and “integrate psychiatric and psychosocial and neurologic services in regional, provincial and tertiary hospitals, improve our mental healthcare facilities and promote mental health education in our schools and workplaces.”
Awareness of mental health issues is not widespread in the Philippines, where conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are sometimes made into jokes.