Press Release | 10 November 2022

The Department of Health (DOH), together with the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), during a meeting between key officials and a visit to the facilities of NCMH on November 10, 2022, committed to improve the delivery of quality mental health services through increased access to mental health services and strengthened community-based mental health programs. These strategic shifts are inspired by global practices shared during the International Mental Health Summit in Italy which was attended by DOH Officer-in-Charge Singh-Vergeire.

The DOH OIC, along with Field Implementation and Coordination Team (FICT) Undersecretary Nestor Santiago, and Disease Prevention and Control Bureau (DPCB) Director Razel Nikka Hao checked on the patients and the present condition of NCMH’s facilities and medical equipment. During the rounds, patients were seen conducting productive activities such as sewing bed sheets and bags, planting crops, and creating accessories like bracelets and necklaces.

Committed to the well being and full recovery of their service users, the NCMH prepares such activities, projects, and therapy sessions to gear and prepare patients for their reintegration to the community. Apart from general adult psychiatry, the NCMH also offers child & adolescent psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, women & children protection, and crisis management services.

Further, the DOH pledged to support the development of more mental health facilities across the country as part of its effort to increase the accessibility of healthcare services. The Health OIC also highlighted the importance of improving the research agenda on mental health prevalence and the need to increase funding for the training of mental health care professionals.

“The National Center for Mental Health is committed to supporting service users not only for the sake of helping manage their conditions, but also to fully prepare them to function and operate as a fully functioning member of society. We wan’t to remove the impression that patients with mental illnesses are non-recoverable and isolated — here in NCMH we work to help our service users recover and further imbed them with the foundation and resources they need for a full return to their family, friends, and the community.” said NCMH Medical Center Chief Dr. Noel V. Reyes

"Stigma and discrimination continue to hamper us from maximizing our mental health services and programs. Recognizing these challenges, we have adopted a non-specialized approach to bring mental health services closer to the communities, ensuring that mental health care is available for all life stages in various settings and levels of care. Further, we need the support of other sectors to eliminate the stigma around mental health and help make Filipinos healthy, both physically and mentally," said DOH Officer-in-Charge Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.