(by Dang Samson Garcia)

SENATOR Risa Hontiveros urged the Department of Education to prioritize the School-Based Mental Health Program to boost the safety of the country’s learning environment.

In her manifestation after the chamber approved on third and final reading Senate Bill 2200 or the Basic Education Mental Health and Well-being Promotion Act, Hontiveros said that a school-based mental health program should be given funding priority.

“I do hope that our education authorities will be up to the challenge of institutionalizing and sustaining mental health programs in our schools,” she said.

“Buo po ang paniniwala ko na itong panukalang batas na pinasa natin for third reading ngayon would complement and further strengthen our existing Mental Health Act o RA 11036 na atin ding isinabatas five years ago,” Hontiveros said.

She said that students and their families will greatly benefit from accessible school-based mental health services.

These services can address academic stress self-injurious and harmful behaviors such as suicide.