5-day mental wellness leave gets backing from Ilocos health expert

DAGUPAN CITY — The Ilocos Center for Health Development (CHD 1) reported that 57--percent of the workforce in Region 1 is suffering from mental health issues.

In an online presser of the Philippine Information Agency Region 1 on Tuesday, Dr. Magnolia Brabante, CHD 1 mental health coordinator disclosed that most of the workforce in the region who are suffering from mental health problems are aged 25 to 54.

She said just like physical health, it is also important that topics on mental health issues are being discussed because the productivity of a person depends on his mental capacity.

"Dapat talaga napag-uusapan natin ito dahil mayroon itong epekto sa productivity ng tao lalo na ng mga empleyado," she said.

Brabante said they also support the proposed bill on five-day mental wellness leave in the Congress.

As soon as the bill turns into law, companies can allow its employees to file a leave for five days, aside from the existing mandatory vacation and sick leave.

"Mahalaga ang magiging gampanin nito kapag naging batas lalo na sa panahon ngayon kung saan karaniwang nabu-burnout ang mga empleyado sa kanilang mga trabaho," she said.

Brabante added that in the long run, companies and organizations will benefit the most because of the productivity of their employees.

Meanwhile, Brabante also encouraged individuals to seek expert consultation if suffering from early warning signs of mental health issues.

"Pwede pong magpa-konsulta sa mga municipal or city health offices dahil trained po ang ating health officers to handle such cases," Brabante said adding that patients can also avail drug prescriptions for free if necessary.

Aside from the local health offices, patients can also seek consultation to different DOH-attached hospitals in the region such as the Region 1 Medical Center in Dagupan City, Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center in San Fernando City, La Union and Mariano.