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Help for homeless people with mental health issues underway

Homeless people with mental disorders may soon find help in a facility eyed to be built in the city.

The City Council recently passed on first reading a resolution to enact an ordinance for the establishment of a shelter for homeless persons with mental disorders in the city.

In March this year, lawmakers passed an ordinance establishing a mental health program and delivery system in the city.

Such legislation provides for an integrated and comprehensive approach to the development of the City Mental Health Care Program and Delivery System to deliver appropriate services and interventions including provision of mental health protection, care, treatment, and other essential services to those with mental illness or disability

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, who chairs the committee on health, said Mayor Sara Duterte will allot P23 million to fund a mental facility for homeless people, a first in the country.

“The City of Davao does not have a facility which caters to the housing of the homeless with mental disorders,” said Villafuerte in the proposed resolution.

In a previous interview, Villafuerte said that mental health professionals of the Southern Philippines Medical Center-Institute of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine (SPMC-IPBM) will help identify homeless mental health patients that may be treated inside the facility.

The establishment of a shelter for homeless persons with mental disorders is eyed to help curb the risks posed by several factors.

“Studies have shown that a combination of mental illness and homelessness also can lead to other factors such as increased levels of alcohol and drug abuse, crime, and violent victimization that reinforce the connection between health and homelessness,” said Villafuerte.

Construction of the facility is expected to begin in 2020.

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