DOH-CALABARZON Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo (right) with DOH Batangas Provincial Health Team Leader Elizabeth V. Sario prepares to cut the ribbon to formally open the Acute Psychiatric Unit (APU) (structure at left) of the Department of Psychiatry of the Batangas Medical Center in Batangas City on October 6, 2020
BATANGAS City — In time for the celebration of the National Mental Health Week, the Department of Health-Calabarzon on Tuesday inaugurated the Acute Psychiatric Unit (APU) located inside the Batangas Medical Center here.
DOH-Calabarzon Regional Director Ed Janairo said the center is open to acute psychiatric inpatient, keep patients safe; assess and evaluate their problems, treat their mental illness, meet their basic care needs and provide physical healthcare within a period of days.
“Most persons with mental disorders don’t seek medical help. Kaya napakaimportante na malaman ang mga palatandaan upang mabigyan agad sila ng pangunahing lunas. Kadalasan sa ating pamilya o kamag-anak ay nagkakaroon tayo ng pakiramdam na “parang may hindi tama” sa kanilang pag-uugali at pag-iisip, we must be able to recognize these signs before it becomes full blown,” Janairo said.
“Mental health must begin in childhood. Dapat pangalagaan natin ang ating mga anak. They must grow up with the feeling of safety and security and protected from any harm,” he added.
Among the five most common mental disorders that can be treated in the APU are anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, dementia and eating disorders.
According to Dr. Anne Marie Pineda, chief of the Psychiatry Department of the Batangas Medical Center (BatMC), acute psychiatric inpatient hospitalization is a high level of care intended to meet the needs of individuals who exhibits emotional and behavioral signs that put them at risk of harm to themselves or to others.
“Some individuals are incapable to render or unable to care for themselves. We have to contain them for treatment with the presence of a 24-hour staff complete with medication and supervision,” she explained.
Funding and construction of the APU building was made possible through the DOH Facility Enhancement Program (HFEP).
It is a 10-bed unit that will provide treatment to more severely ill mental health patients, for a duration of less than 30 days.
Patient who require long-term care will be transferred to another facility with a higher level of care the regional director said.
The opening of the APU will also complement the on-going efforts of the mental health program of the regional office to reach out to persons with mental disorders through its “Kapit-Bisig Helpline” through https://www.facebook.com/kapit.bisig.helpline.
Kapit-bisig is open from 10AM to 12NN and 1PM to 3PM Tuesdays and Thursdays catering to individuals who are stressed out of the COVID pandemic and other mental health concerns.
“The establishment of the APU in CALABARZON is the realization of DOH’s vision for BatMC to be a Psychiatric Center in the region,” Janairo stressed. (Glen Ramos / Benjie Cuaresma)