Baguio City—Mental Health Program

The Mental Health Program provides for the protection and promotion of an individual’s right to health and be given sufficient, proper, and timely mental illness prevention and treatment.

It aims to maintain the psychiatric, neurologic, psychological, and mental stability of citizens of the community.

Further, the program aims to provide community and resilience-based approaches and the delivery of culturally-appropriate mental health care services.

The strategy used in implementing this program is the “preventive, promotive, treatment and management” approach. Under the preventive and promotive approach, Baguio City raises the level of public awareness through heightened quad media campaigns, provision of mental health and nutrition, stress management and guidance and counseling. They have a dedicated mental health hotline, and they provide school-based and workplace mental health services.

Under the treatment and management approach, Baguio City Health Services Office provides services for assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental and neurologic disorders and prevention of development of substance abuse and other forms of addiction in family, school, workplace, community, and industry settings.

The utilization of available resources was maximized through proper collaboration of different government sectors such as strengthening the public-private partnership.
This action created a collaborative and multi-sectoral, addressing physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual aspect of an individual, approach in dealing and understanding mental health. Through this, there was increased awareness across all ages.

Involving citizens produced a pool of human resources—volunteer mental health speakers, doctors, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, guidance counsellors and church leaders.
The creation of a community pharmacy, inspired by the community pantry was erected to be able to provide medications coming from the community (unused medicines) which patients with low-income could take without financial obligations.

Bohol—Laum Bohol Program: A Holistic Approach to Mental Wellness

The Boholano youth are not exempted from the adverse effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has brought stress, anxiety, and depression to them.

In a bid to address these issues and concerns, Bohol Governor Arthur C. Yap and Vice Governor Rene L. Relampagos called for a consultative meeting with various stakeholders in August 2020. This was to identify what interventions and strategies were needed for the youth.

By virtue of Executive Order No. 50 signed on 15 October 2020, the Laum Bohol Program served as the Provincial Government of Bohol’s response to the growing issues and concerns regarding the youth’s overall wellbeing.

Laum Bohol is a province-wide mental health and holistic wellbeing program of the Provincial Government of Bohol through the Provincial Youth Development Office and the Provincial Health Office.

The program is in partnership with various offices of the provincial government and different stakeholders. It provides accessible, sustainable, and integrative multi-sectoral intervention for the empowerment of all Boholano youth. It is composed of the following components:

Amoma provides mental health services and intervention through a dedicated hotline, online and face to face counselling, and medications.

Abiba promotes awareness on youth wellbeing advocacy in the community and provides support services for Amoma.

Bansay delivers skills training, livelihood, and employment enhancement opportunities.

Dayag encourages self-expression and emotional healing through creative arts.

Duwa encourages healthy physical activities through sports.

The program hopes to impact the youth through mental health awareness, reduction of stigma and discrimination to those people who are in crisis, mitigate mental anguish, and provide treatment to those who are already afflicted. Additionally, the other sub-components are useful tools in building up mental resilience: such as Bansay (mental stability through economic stability), Dayag (peace of mind through expression), and Duwa through sports (mind over matter).

Borbon, Cebu—Mental Health Warriors

Borbon Mental Health Warriors is an integrated and comprehensive approach to the development of Local Mental Health Care Delivery System to deliver appropriate services and interventions in the Rural Health Unit of Borbon, Cebu.

This aims to reduce the prevalence of mental health problems, reduce mortality from suicide and intentional harm, foster positive health seeking behavior amidst stigma and discrimination, improve access to mental health services, and reduce the risk of mental disorder through the promotion of mental health in the general population and improvement in the quality of life.

This program adopts the following key approaches: (1) mental health consultation among the vulnerable and needy ones at barangay level; (2) provision of therapeutic management with budget allocation from the Local Government Unit (LGU); (3) psychosocial counselling among identified at risk individuals; (4) art therapy sessions; (5) health promotion and advocacy to the general population in the workplace and school setting; (6) formation of a support group among the service-users and family members; (7) home visits; (8) policy and legislations supporting the program; (9) capacity building among health workers namely, the municipal health officer, rural health midwives, nurses, and barangay health workers, among others; (10) suicide prevention, interventions and response strategies, with particular attention to the concerns of the youth; (11) heightened five steps of well-being; and (12) monitoring & evaluation.

An adequate number of competent health workers deliver the program. These health workers have been trained in the following: (1) Mental Health Global Action Program training participated by one doctor and three nurses; (2) Workshop on Mental Health Intervention participated by 1 physician and 1 nurse; (3) Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Training for Primary Care Providers participated by 12 rural health midwives and seven nurses; (4) Mental Health and Psychosocial Training for barangay health workers; (5) Basic Mental Health and Psychosocial support during emergencies & disaster to provide Mental Health Care according to their level and setting.

Ilocos Sur—This Book is so Boring: A Self-Care Journal

The COVID19 pandemic has brought the province negative outcomes not only in terms of health status, but also in many aspects such as education, economy and other social impacts.

It affected the lives of individuals that highly changed their daily routines. The pandemic has indeed impacted the mental health status of adolescents and youth in the province of Ilocos Sur. However, with proper collaboration and initiatives of different concerned agencies and organizations, this public health issue can be mitigated.

With this, a venue was created where adolescents and youth can have a safe space to express and be themselves without the fear of being questioned or judged.

To give them a breather or a “recess,” a journal entitled, “This book is So Boring” was created. It encouraged its readers/owners to bring out their ideas, feelings and even unsolicited thoughts that could challenge their focus in life. It is a gentle reminder for self-care where they can be themselves in times of crisis or during those moments when they feel like things are getting tough and life is already too much. It gives them a safer avenue to relax, reflect and recover, especially during trying times.

The journal aims to remind them that life can be rainbows and butterflies, but can also be rough roads and harsh waves, sometimes. However, what matters most is that for every event, challenge, and turning point, there is something they can do to help themselves from pain and that there is a big chance of recovery.

Quezon City—Your Mental Health Matters: The Quezon City Community-Based Mental Health Program

The Community-Based Mental Health Program (CBMHP) is an integrated and comprehensive approach to deliver appropriate services to promote mental health in the community and provide services to those with mental illness.

The main objective is to promote a shift from hospital-based care to a community-based mental health care delivery system. This can be achieved through the following: integration of mental health care in primary health care services; prevention, control and treatment of mental illness at all levels; and promotion of mental wellness in the community.

CBMHP ensures that mental health services are delivered by primary mental health care facilities which support or treat people with mental disorders in a home setting, instead of a psychiatric hospital.

Its community services include: 1) Mental health services that are integrated in primary health care in all the health centers of QC; 2) Diagnosis and initiation of treatment by specialists either in the hospital setting or in community outreach activities; and 3) Psychiatric wards of general hospitals (for scale-up)

The program employs the following strategies:

1) Capacity building of health center staff and community leaders;
2) Promotion of mental health in the workplace and in the community including the Young Healthy Mind interactive learning for adolescents integrated in the Teen Walk to Health;
3.) Decentralization of patients from QCGH through the MWAH facilities for provision of psychotropic drugs in health centers;
4.) Outreach ‘mentoring’ sessions in the community for diagnosis and treatment of patients with mental disorders; and
5.) Provision of Psychosocial support in HOPE Facilities and the community in lockdown areas

Quezon City may yet be the only LGU wherein all the health centers are capable of integrating mental health services in primary care. Thousands have already been reached through community activities in all the districts of the city. At the moment, there are over 180 patients registered and receiving free medicines in barangay health centers.


Anne Ruth Dela Cruz
Anne Ruth Dela Cruz
Anne is a seasoned journalist and corporate communications specialist. After 13 years in the health care industry, she is back to where she started—print media.


More Stories