Sen. Bong Go has urged the government to continue providing all kinds of psychosocial assistance to individuals struggling with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and other more serious psychological problems especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a senator, I assure you that the government will do its best to ensure that all forms of psychosocial assistance will be made available to those who are suffering from any form of mental health issues,” Go said during the second part of the “Edukasyon Tugon sa Depresyon” webinar organized by the Council for the Welfare of Children.
“We will also strive to provide all the mental health and psychosocial support to complete the public health response in this pandemic, especially for our children and the vulnerable population,” he added.
Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, expressed support for the amendment of Republic Act No. 11036, known as the Mental Health Act, to provide better compensation benefits and special financial assistance in the event a worker sustains a mental disability by reason of his or her position.
Last May, Go presided over a Senate health committee hearing to tackle Senate Bill 1471 authored by Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara that seeks to amend the Mental Health Act. Several other mental health-related measures are pending in the Senate health committee for further deliberations.
In his webinar speech, Go remarked that mental health problems must not be underestimated, especially amid the pandemic.
“‘Wag po nating balewalain. Alam ninyo po, marami talagang apektado sa nangyari pong ito. Noong unang panahon, ‘pag merong pagtitipon na pinatawag ang ating mayor, barangay captain, kapag konti lang ang pumunta, magagalit siya. Ngayon po, kapag marami ang pumunta, magagalit siya dahil magkukumpol po ‘yung tao,’’ he said.
(Let us not ignore it. You know, several people were affected by what is happening. Before, if our mayor, barangay captain call for a gathering, and only a few people will attend, he will get angry. Now, if many people will come, he will get angry because the people are crowded)
“Dati po ‘pag may hawak kang alcohol, maarte ka. Ngayon po, ‘pag wala kang alcohol, minsan po ay hindi ka kinakamayan. Nakikita ninyo po na talagang baliktad na ‘yung mundo natin. Marahil po ay sinusubukan tayo ng Panginoon, sinusubukan niya ang ating pananampalataya,’’ he added.
(Before, if you are holding an alcohol, you’re overreacting. Now, if you do not have an alcohol, sometimes, people will not shake your hands. The world has changed. Maybe, the Lord is testing us, challenging our faith)
He also advised the public to pray and continue to show their compassion for one another, especially now that the situation is still far from normal.
“Magdasal pa po tayo ng maigi, magtulungan tayo, at lalong lalo na po sa mga apektado po sa itong mental health issue, marami po sa mga OFWs natin umuwi, minsan po ay nagkakaroon po ng anxiety, depression dahil hindi sila nakakauwi sa kanilang pamilya, napakahirap po,’’ he added.
(Let us solemnly pray, let us help one another especially those affected by this mental health issue. Many OFWs return home, some with anxiety, depression because they have not seen their families, it’s hard)