CHR urges medical attention on mental health problems

Published February 16, 2021, 10:46 AM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has urged public’s awareness on the need to seek medical attention for mental health problems.

In its post on Twitter, the CHR said those who have mental health problems fear exclusion from people and support due to their belief that they are untreatable despite the availability of effective treatments for mental disorders.

It said that while only a few countries have a legal framework that protects the rights of people with mental disorders, it expressed its gratitude that the Philippines has enacted its own Mental Health Law.

The Philippine law protects Filipinos with mental health problems from torture, cruelty, and degrading treatment. It also assures patients that they will receive adequate information, aftercare, and rehabilitation, the CHR said.

“This includes protection from discrimination in the workplace, schools, homes, and elsewhere,” it also said.

“The keys to ensuring that people receive the care they need are early identification and effective management,” it stressed.

At the same time, suicide cases as a result of mental health problems have been unreported because of social and religious stigma against mental illness and suicide.

The CHR said the Philippines has one of the lowest suicide rates in Asia at 2.9 percent per 100,000 people. However, it said, the numbers are grossly underreported.

Citing statistics, the CHR said that nearly 800,000 suicide cases are recorded worldwide each year. 

In 2012 alone, it said there were 2,558 reported cases of suicide in the Philippines associated with mental health conditions. Most of the victims were young people aged 15 to 29 years old.