In celebration of the 2nd anniversary of the Mental Health Act (RA 11036) last June 20th, the Youth for Mental Health Coalition (Y4MH) urged duty bearers to fully implement the law and give importance to a comprehensive mental health response during the time of the pandemic. While national agencies have yet to address the rising number of mental health challenges experienced due to the ill effects of the “new normal,” Y4MH conducted a consultation with the youth sector to propose recommendations for a comprehensive mental health response and possible amendment of the RA 11036.
The National Youth Congress on Mental Health 2020 was held online last July 10 to July 12, 2020 with hundreds of youths participating in plenary and breakout sessions on different committees such as: Mental Health in Schools, Mental Health in Workplace, Mental Health for Minority Groups, People with Exceptionalities, Mental Health in Community, Substance Use and Harm Reduction, and Mental Health Systems. It was designed to serve as a platform and safe space for information- and experience-sharing, discussions on existing policies and programs on mental health, and advocacy promotion.
“We saw how the bayanihan between civil society organizations, especially the youth sector, were able to contribute in bridging gaps in service delivery and information sharing. Let us all remember that our recommendations will always be helpful in determining challenges that need resolutions and activities that can lead to viable results. The coalition will do its best to deliver these inputs to our national government, participate in post-discussion work, and continue checks for accountability. The stories shared during the Congress will always serve as our motivation to move forward with the mental health advocacy. In solidarity, we are always stronger,” emphasized by Alyannah Lagasca, the NYConMH2020 Convenor and National Secretary General of Y4MH.
#NYConMH2020 is just one of the many programs of the Youth for Mental Health Coalition in their pursuit of ending the stigma on mental health. Y4MH is a non-stock and non-profit volunteer organization of youth advocates for mental health. Y4MH specializes in lobbying for mental health-friendly policies in local and national level, raising awareness for mental health through continuous public education, and facilitating appropriate and community-based service delivery programs. The organization has been an active partner in the lobbying of the Mental Health Law, co-drafting the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 11036, co-planning the National Strategic Plan on Mental Health, and in promoting and advocating for mentally-healthy society.
For more details on Youth for Mental Health Coalition and their initiatives, visit their official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/YouthForMentalHealth/.