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PIA Press Release

Philippine Mental Health Association Baguio-Benguet turns 50

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (12 June) -- The Philippine Mental Health Association Baguio-Benguet Chapter Inc. (PMHABBCI) will turn 50 on Sept 13, 2009 but activities for its golden anniversary have started and will end in December.

A kapihan forum was held Wednesday to launch the activities. The forum was attended by PMHABBCI Vice chair Atty. Edilberto Tenefrancia, Executive Manager Irene Tuwao, Treasurer Gilda Manalo-Wong, Auditor Dr. Ronald Bandonill, and Board of Management Members, Councilor Fred Bagbagen, Atty. Mia Cawed and Ms Nonette Bennett.

The formal kick-off of PMHABBCI's 50th anniversary celebration was held Thursday morning with a thanksgiving mass and a simple opening program at the Malcolm Square. Its golden anniversary celebration activities are spread-up until December, with the grand celebration to be held on October 3 wherein there will be a parade, awarding of certificates to their sponsors, members and partner agencies. Other planned activities are an Open House Exhibit, a Poster and Slogan Contest and a symposium.

PMHA's 50th anniversary theme is "i-mind the future". According to Tuwao, the theme depicts the advancing technology today and for them to also advance their education information service through this new technology for a more efficient and effective service.

It has been the mission of the PHMA to promote the advancement of mental health through advocacy, education, prevention, and best practices intervention for the Filipino people.

Tuwao explained that the primary program of the PHMABBCI is Education, Information Services (EIS), which promotes mental health through various education and information dissemination activities. As part of EIS, it has been organizing youth to a "LINK Club" or the Lakas Isipan ng Kabataan Club (for high schools) and the Progressive Youth Association on Mental Health or PYAMH.

"At present, we already have organized LINK clubs in 20 schools, and we also hope to bring the LINK club to more public and private schools, in partnership with DepEd", Tuwao added.

PMHABBCI also has a secondary level of intervention program called Clinical and Diagnostic Services, which offers diagnostic assessment, evaluation and recommendation on early signs of mental disorder, psychological testing and evaluation, neuro-psychiatric examination and evaluation, IQ assessment and evaluation, individual group counseling and referral services.

"Even after our 50th year of service, we continuously look for a more fruitful future for PMHABBCI, we also hope that we can have a new building so that we can give a better service, as we can also accommodate more clients," Tuwao said. (PIA) [top]

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