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Administration Sen. Christopher Go, conveying the still growing public anxiety over the lingering Covid-19 contagion, pressed concerned Duterte government officials to step up counter-measures to effectively contain the ongoing pandemic, as well as other crises that threaten the mental health of Filipinos.

In pressing his call for stronger government interventions, particularly on the provision of psychosocial services and support, Go recalled the recent appeal of no less than the World Health Organization “for nations to invest more in mental health.”

This, after reminding that just 2 percent of national health budgets and less than 1 percent of all international health aid go to mental health.

Go, chairman of the Senate’s Health Committee, pressed his earlier proposal calling on concerned Duterte government officials to “explore all possibilities of extending needed guidance to families,” reminding that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to “affect not only the livelihood and physical health of Filipinos, but their emotional and mental conditions.”

At the same time, the senator insisted “persistent efforts must be exerted to fully accomplish the purpose of the landmark Mental Health Law signed by President Duterte back in 2018.”

He reminded that Republic Act 11036 established a national mental health policy directed
towards improving the health of the population, noting, “It also underscores the basic right of all Filipinos to mental health care, while shaping the structural and attitudinal challenges to achieving positive mental health.”

Moreover, Go assured that the enabling law was crafted “specifically, to provide mental health services at the barangay level and integrate mental health and wellness programs at the grassroots level so that interventions will be felt by the communities.” It also “seeks to improve mental health facilities and promote mental health education in schools and workplaces.”

Sitting as Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go did not encounter stumbling blocks in successfully pushing additional funding for the implementation of the Mental Health Law in the 2021 and 2022 budgets.