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LGU commits better service for mental health intervention

The local government commited to provide better mental health services and facilities to Davaoeños as the world marked Mental Health Day on Oct. 10.

“As we celebrate World Mental Health Day we look forward to the implementation of the Mental Health Code of Davao City with the announcement of Mayor Sara (Duterte) that P23 million has been allocated for a Mental Wellness Center,” said Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte.

“We have created a Mental Health Division through our ordinance and now, we will establish a Mental Wellness Center in order to address the mental health needs of Davaoeños,” she added.

Last March, the City Council, through the proposal of Villafuerte, passed the Mental Health Code of Davao, which adopts an integrated and comprehensive approach on the development of the City Mental Health Care Program and Delivery System.

The program will deliver appropriate services and interventions including provision of mental health protection, care, treatment, and other essential services to people suffering from mental illness or disability.

Another resolution is underway for the facility for homeless persons with mental disorder.

“We will have a center that will serve two purposes, given the bigger infrastructure budget – the shelter for homeless persons where they will be treated, and also an outpatient counseling center for all our residents who need mental health counseling,” Villafuerte said.

She added that the budget for infrastructure will be provided by Dumper partylist but the salaries of the Mental Health Division personnel and other operational costs will be shouldered by the city.

“Our Mental Wellness Center will target psychotic vagrants, we will build a house for them and after medication, we will bring them back to their families or a support center for depression and suicide,” the mayor said.

The local government and the Southern Medical Philippines Center Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Medicine (SPMC-IPBM) are working on a memorandum of usufruct since the latter is the target location of the mental wellness center.

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