The Youth and Mental Health

The youth is one of the vulnerable sectors affected by mental illnesses with them being exposed to various stresses from school, work, and personal relationships. Join #HealthXPh chat this Saturday January 28, 2017 9:00 PM Manila time as we discuss mental health issues among youth and ways to address the current mental health situation in the Philippines

Mental illnesses are rampant among youth aged 10-24 years old affecting approximately more than one-tenth of the global burden of disease. Unipolar depression is the most prevalent with 8.2% of the disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) while bipolar depression is fourth, with 3.8% of the DALYs. Several documented cases of youth suicide have been reported in the past months with the cases being triggered by stresses from school, work, and personal relationships. Social stigma on having mental illnesses remains prevalent among the general population which hinders patients from seeking consult and adequate treatment.
Despite the underreported prevalence and the apparent gap in addressing this issue, no mental health legislation has been successfully passed. The Philippines remains to be one of the only two countries in South East Asia without a mental health law. The current version of the mental health bill, S.B. 1190 or the Philippine Mental Health Law, filed by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros, contains provisions to promote mental well-being, uphold rights of mental health service users, shift from hospital-based to community-based care, increase funding for mental health research, and combat social stigma attached to mental health illnesses.

Join #HealthXPh chat this Saturday January 28, 2017 9:00 PM Manila time/ 8:00 am EST as we discuss mental health issues among youth and ways to address the current mental health situation in the Philippines, don’t forget to use the hashtag #HealthXPh when joining this twitter chat on Saturday.

• T1. What are the common problems faced by the youth with regard to mental health? Do you have any mental health related stories?
• T2. How do you think social stigma attached to having mental health issues can be minimized?
• T3. What youth-specific provisions do you think should be included in the Mental Health Law
• T4: What is your advice for young people having mental health needs?

References:
1. Hamid, et. al. (2008) Evaluating the WHO Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems by comparing mental health policies in four countries; Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2009, 86; 467-473
2. Rocha et. al (2013) Mood disorders in childhood and adolescence Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria. 2013;35:S22–S31

ABOUT THE AUTHORS –

RJ Naguit (@rjnaguitskona)
RJ Naguit is a Doctor of Medicine student from the University of Santo Tomas, Program Director of the AKTIBOTO Voter Education Program, and convener of the Youth for Mental Health Coalition

Ryan Lintao (@rylintao)
Ryan Lintao is a MD-PhD student from the University of the Philippines-Manila, Treasurer of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, and convener of the Youth for Mental Health Coalition

GUEST:
Sen. Risa Hontiveros (@risahontiveros)

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