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PIA Press Release

PMHA Bacolod promotes mental health programs

Bacolod City (23 June) -- As the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) - Negros Occidental and Bacolod Chapter marks its 33rd anniversary, Thursday, June 25, 2009 with the theme "Scaling Up Community Wellness", it will push for the promotion of mental health programs.

Bacolod Councilor and member of the Executive Board of PMHA Jocelle Batapa-Sigue proposed an ordinance that will create the Bacolod Health and Wellness Committee (BHWC) which will develop a comprehensive preventive health management and wellness program for the city.

BCHWC will assist, guide and support the city government in developing and promoting the local health and wellness industry as one of the world-class destinations for medical and wellness tourism in the world.

The BHWC shall perform advisory and coordinating functions among the stakeholders of the health and wellness and medical tourism and retirement industry. It shall assist in the preparation of plans and strategies to increase the jobs and revenues realizable in the said industry.

Through this measure, Batapa-Sigue aims to encourage and promote access to preventive health care through various core strategies in close partnership and coordination with the pertinent private sector organizations and government agencies.

Among the programs pushed are trainings of health care providers to provide appropriate mental health screening, education and referrals, the development and implementation of life skills programs to enhance mental health and advocate for the inclusion of a mental health curriculum and for the education of school management and educators about mental health.

It also seeks for the creation of strategic plans for a continuum of community mental health services and provision of stress management training to police and fire personnel, and other professionals regarding the signs and symptoms of mental illness.

The pending ordinance likewise calls for the increase of employer awareness of the ways mental health affects employees and the impact on the bottom line of the business, establishment of mental health educational programs for management and employees so that they will be better informed of the signs and symptoms of mental illness and available treatment options.

It also encourages businesses to work with community resources such as community centers, senior centers, faith communities, parish nurses and the local media to reduce the stigma of mental disorders and promote local mental health resources, and advocate for environments and policies that support mental health. (Batapa News/PIA/EAD) [top]

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