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Mental health clinic opens in Pinamungajan town

| by: Oscar Piñeda

People with mental disabilities should be treated and taken care of instead of left wandering aimlessly in the streets.

Psychiatrist Dr. Glenda Basubas stressed this, as she explained the goal of the newly-opened Provincial Government-run mental health out-patient clinic, located within the vicinity of JM Borromeo Memorial District Hospital in Pinamungajan town.

Last November 21, officials of the Provincial Government and the local government unit of Pinamungajan town inaugurated the facility built and intended for individuals seeking medical intervention for mental health problems.

“Sa una kung naay ingon ani (mentally-disabled family member), ila na lang i-priso, but now naa na tay Mental Health Out-Patient Services here in Pinamungajan,” said Pinamungajan Vice Mayor Honeylette Yapha-Lingad.

Lingad thanked the Provincial Government under the leadership of Davide and Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale saying, “Garbo namo nga dinhi na mahimutang sa among lungsod.”

She said there is a growing number of mental health problems and patients as she urged everyone the need to talk things out.

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PB member Christopher Baricuatro, the august body’s chairman for the Committee on Health, led the inauguration, together with the municipal’s officials and doctors from the provincial and regional health offices.

Upon the request of Gov. Hilario P. Davide III, the provincial board authorized the release of the P7.2 million fund, said Baricuatro, to modify the building to accommodate the mental health out-patient facility.

Baricuatro said the PB also authorized the P6.7 million fund to ensure that the mental health of their constituents in the first, second, third and seventh district would be attended to.

He said PHO will partner with the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) to implement the program in these four districts through scheduled visits and consultations.

In her speech during the launch, Dr. Emalyn Fernandez, Department of Health (DOH) mental health coordinator, said that the department will download the P700,000 fund for mental health medicines next month.

Basubas, who will be supervising the mental health out-patient facility, said there are now modern, affordable and effective medicines for mental health patients, that does not turn the patients into rigid or spaced-out individuals. She added that the new kind of medicines will help patients become functional.

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She said the patients will be trained in tasks that can help them earn income, like make key chains as souvenir items.

Provincial Health Office (PHO) head of Public Health Dr. Shiela Faciol showed how mentally-disabled patients recovered after regularly taking medicines.

Disclosing the identities of the patients to protect their privacy, Faciol showed pictures of some individuals with mental health problems: a 36-year-old male; a 38-year-old woman imprisoned in an improvised detention cell; and another patient tied to a cotton tree, a common practice dictated by folk belief.

“Naay babaye nga luspad na kayo kay wa sukad mabuwad sa init,” Faciol said. She hopes the patients will be back for follow-up check-ups in their mental health out-patient facility.

Chief of Hospital Dr. Feleus Bascon said this mental health out-patient facility will be serving patients from neighboring towns, even Toledo City.

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