Mental health is an issue that needs to be addressed especially now that the country is facing the challenges of the pandemic caused by COVID-19.

The Local Government Unit of Midsayap supports the institutionalization of mental health programs especially in the community level.

On July 27, 2021, the Sangguniang Bayan of Midsayap under the leadership of Vice Mayor Manuel Rabara enacted Ordinance No. 478 or the Ordinance Institutionalizing a Community-Based Mental Health Program and Delivery System in the Municipality of Midsayap and Appropriating Funds Thereof and was authored by Councilor Chelin Monica J. Arańa.

The said ordinance includes the creation of the Municipal Mental Health Committee that will be responsible as the policy-making body that will provide for a consistent, rational and unified response to mental health problems, concerns and efforts through the formulation of the Municipal Mental Health Care Delivery System.

The Municipal Mental Health Care Delivery System shall constitute a quality mental health care program through the development of efficient and effective structures, systems and mechanisms that will ensure fair, accessible, affordable, appropriate, efficient and effective delivery of mental health care to all its stakeholders by qualified, competent, compassionate and ethical mental health professionals and mental health workers”, said Councilor Chelin Arańa.

The Ordinance also includes the creation of psychosocial first aid team, mental health hotline, strengthening of the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program (CBDRP), psychiatric service, temporary shelter facility and funding for the implementation of mental health programs.

Any person shall have the right to receive mental health care appropriate to his needs and shall be entitled to care and treatment in accordance to the same standards and accessibility as other sick individuals. An improved, effective and easy access to mental health care shall be made possible and a shift from a predominantly hospital-based mental health care to community-based care shall be provided”, added Councilor Arańa.

It can be remembered that this ordinance was one of the priority legislations Mayor Romeo D. Arańa requested for the Sangguniang Bayan to enact.