The Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPA) has just released two videos of Filipino celebrities and public figures declaring, “I have a mental health problem.”
In two separate videos, celebs such as Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Rico Blanco, RA Rivera, Ian Veneracion, Lauren Young, Juana Change, and Mikael Daez said, “We have a mental health problem. Our problem? To this day, we still don’t have laws to protect the rights of mental health sufferers. That is a big mental health problem. We need help.”
It ends with a plea to sign the petition for the country’s first mental health act, which was launched in early 2015. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 5 people suffer from mental health problems worldwide, yet in the Philippines, there are only 5 psychiatrists per 10,000,000 Filipinos. Most health insurance companies still don’t cover mental health-related issues and the stigma weighs heavily on those suffering. Many Filipinos still believe in the fallacies surrounding mental health.
Politicians who have introduced the act include incoming Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Pia Cayetano, and if approved, it will protect the rights of people suffering from clinical depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health ailments and disabilities. It will provide more access to the treatment and prevention of mental ailments, which can happen to any person, regardless of their race, gender, age, educational background, upbringing, and religion.