BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
House Bill No. 10284 or the State Universities and Colleges Mental Health Service Act, was recently approved by the House of Representatives on second reading via voice voting.
Authored by Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, the bill mandates the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to require all SUC’s to establish a mental health office in all campuses.
The mental health offices in SUC’s under the proposed legislation should set up campus hotlines with dedicated and trained guidance counselors to provide assistance to the whole SUC community, especially the students, and initiate and sustain heightened campaigns to raise the collective consciousness about mental health focusing on suicide prevention, stress handling, mental health and nutrition, guidance and counseling.
The bill further requires that each mental health office should be attended by trained mental health professionals who should serve as the mental health service personnel of the SUC’s.
Gasataya said he is thankful to his colleagues in the House of Representatives for believing in the intent of the bill to make mental healthcare more accessible to the public.
“I hope that this proposal can help save lives and eliminate another barrier to learning for our children,” the solon added.*