MANILA – A measure strengthening the mental health services of state universities and colleges (SUCs) hurdled second reading approval at the House of Representatives.
During Tuesday’s plenary session, the chamber passed through voice voting House Bill 10284, otherwise known as the proposed State Universities and Colleges Mental Health Service Act.
The bill mandates the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to require all SUCs to establish a mental health office in all their campuses.
The mental health offices shall set up campus hotlines with dedicated and trained guidance counselors to provide assistance to the whole SUC community, especially the students.
The CHED and the SUCs, through their mental health offices, shall initiate and sustain a heightened campaign to raise the collective consciousness about mental health.
The awareness campaign shall give special emphasis to the issues of suicide prevention, stress handling, mental health and nutrition, and guidance and counseling.
The bill provides that each mental health office shall be manned by, train, and deploy mental health professionals who shall serve as the mental health service personnel of the SUCs.
It mandates the CHED and SUCs, in coordination with the Department of Budget and Management, to finalize the appropriate plantilla positions for the additional mental health service personnel to be hired. (PNA)