Mental Health now part of medical support for Filipino workers

Mental health filipino workers
Filipino workers can now get help for both their physical and mental needs. Photo from DOLE.


Mental health was made officially part of medical support given to Filipino workers with the passing of a labor order that implements the National Mental Health Act.

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On February 11, 2020, the Department of Labor and Employment passed Department Order No. 208 which better enforces Republic Act 11036, or the Mental Health Act, in the workplace.

This act includes multiple actions towards destigmatizing and assisting mental health in the workplace by pressing for the effective implementation of certain services, programs, and policies that better inform and assist people about mental illness and their well-being.

These proposed actions include education of related information in work and school, more empathic policies and practices, and better protocols concerning mental health, such as negotiable compensation and work arrangement.

Inquiries on how to employ these practices can be answered by the DOLE, Department of Health, and other institutions certified to provide mental health services. These are also applicable to Overseas Filipino Workers as well.

These practices go hand-in-hand with the Mental Health Act in such that it gives employees support for their well-being, as well as making these services more accessible to them. The Mental Health Act was signed in June 2018 after thirty years of debate to help destigmatize and alleviate mental illness through promoting services and information to the public.

According to the Department of Health, there were 4.5 million cases of depression in 2004 alone, and they assume the number has increased considerably today, factoring in the possibility of unreported cases due to the shame tied to depression and mental illness as a whole. The World Health Organization reports that mental illness currently makes up 10% of the global burden of disease and is predicted to increase to 13% by 2030.

Motivational speaker and Good News Pilipinas contributing writer, Chinkee Tan, understands the need to take care of one’s mental health and has written about it in his article about New Year’s resolutions.

Positivitrix and Good News Pilipinas! TV anchor Trixie Esguerra advocates a positive mindset in life to help mental and overall health while 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray used her positivity to help her win the title for the Philippines in the global pageant.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Filipino workers in the Philippines who can now rely on help for both physical and mental health!

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