Department of Health conducts mental health training for Calabarzon health workers

March 05, 2019

THE Department of Health-CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) conducted the first batch of training in Mental Health Global Action Plan Intervention Program (mhGAP) for health officers, including nurses, of various cities and municipalities of the region.

Regional director Dr. Eduardo Janairo said the training, which will provide health workers with knowledge and skills in mental health, was held at Eurotel Vivaldi in Quezon City on February 26-29.

“This will give them the expertise and confidence to recognize and respond to mental health problems in their respective community. The training helps to reduce stigma, promotes help-seeking behavior, and improves recognition and response,” Janairo said.

After completion of the mhGAP training, a participant will be able to identify the causes and symptoms of anxiety, depression, psychosis and substance use disorder; understand the link between drug/alcohol use and mental health problems; become aware of the range of treatment options; and know what emergency procedures to follow in times of crisis.

“Our objective is to equip our health workers with essential interventions in order to address various health concerns in the community. Mental disorders are both debilitating and expensive for affected individuals and their families,” Janairo said.

According to the 2018 census on mentally-ill patients conducted by the DoH Calabarzon Non-Communicable Health Unit, there are 659 cases with learning/intellectual disability; 441 psycho-social disability; 293 with seizure/epilepsy; 329 with speech impairment; 633 with neurologic disorder; 128 – schizophrenia; 371 – autism; 286 – down syndrome; 69 – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); 21 are bipolar; 21 patients are suffering from depression; and two have mongolism cases in the region..

“With the passage of the Mental Health Law, we can provide more effective interventions on various mental health disorders, including low-cost treatments such as drugs, psychological treatments, and community-based rehabilitations which are affordable, cost-effective and can successfully be delivered by trained health workers,” Janairo said.