Cognizant of the serious mental health challenges that Filipino Youth faces since the time of the pandemic, MIND YOU Managing Director Maica Teves appealed for an urgent resolution from the lawmakers to address the Mental Health Challenges in the country.
Below is the full statement of Teves sent to THEPHILBIZNEWS:
We at Mind You are deeply concerned by the latest data released by the Department of Education on the number of students who have taken their own lives or attempted suicide during the Academic Year 2021-2022.
During a hearing of the Senate Basic Education Committee, Assistant Education Secretary Dexter Galban revealed that a total of 404 young students in various parts of the country took their own lives and 2,147 others attempted suicide during this period when schools shifted to remote learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the move was dedicated to protecting the students from the virus, it revealed the gaps that need to be addressed concerning our learners as one of the most vulnerable sectors of society for mental health issues. As the focus was on continued learning, the isolation took a toll on their mental well-being, making them at risk for issues such as anxiety and depression.
As advocates for Mental Health Awareness, we will be working on the ground with the Department of Health and Department of Education under the Healthy Learning Institutions Project. Mind You will be providing access to mental health support and interventions to students in last-mile elementary schools in provinces part of the project. This program, which provides access to mental health interventions for grade school students and their teachers, is set to expand its coverage to Metro Manila.
Through the support of the Australian Government, we are also working on establishing a mental health hotline to provide module-guided Psychological First-Aid to those who might find themselves in a crisis situation.
However, so much more needs to be done. This alarming crisis in mental health among our youth needs to be addressed urgently and effectively with a multi-sectoral approach that includes stakeholders from the government and private institutions.
We cannot afford to lose more lives to the stigma that persists in our society about mental health issues. We have to start putting more interventions in place to reach those who are experiencing mental health challenges at different stages in their life.
We enjoin all Filipinos to be advocates for mental health awareness and to be channels for change, as we break the stigma and build a healthier, stronger, more mentally-resilient society.