Realizing the importance of dealing with mental health issues, the Department of Health (DOH) has recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF) and the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) for the Hopeline Project.
This comes as one of the first moves of DOH under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. DOH Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubia, a staunch supporter of mental health, told the public:
“This time, mental health programs will be prioritized. For many years, it has been in the backseat and now many
Filipinos are suffering silently from the stigma and disabling effects of mental health conditions.”
The Hopeline will be a phone-based 24/7 support hotline for anyone who wants to seek help regarding depression and suicide prevention. Hopeline will point individuals to available resources such as psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and institutions that can provide much-needed assistance for their psychological and psychiatric needs.
Hopeline responders have received extensive training on crisis intervention and so they are skilled in crisis support and situation assessment whenever necessary.
In addition to that, PhilHealth will play a big role in cases where patients may need hospitalization. In addition to the government-owned hospitals, private clinics and hospitals will also be accessed to ensure that needy individuals will be able to receive quality mental health services at an affordable cost.
Jean Goulbourn, president of Natasha Goulbourn Foundation, was extremely touched that Hopeline will soon be a reality for Filipinos. This is a pilot project for her foundation. Meanwhile, the National Center for Mental Health has assured their support to help patients and families to deal with emotional issues.
The Hopeline Project will be formally launched this September 2016. Callers can get in touch with Hopeline through the hotline numbers 02-804-HOPE(4673), 0917-558-HOPE and 2919 (tollfree number for Globe and TM subscribers.)