This article is mainly intended for Filipino readers.
Taking care of one's mental health is an expensive thing. From initial consultation to therapies to medications, for sure it is easy to fall prey into the belief that having mental illness is only for the rich.
Honestly, I was like that too. Money is the main reason why I did not seek help year ago. I was a minor struggling with mental health with no other sources of income aside from my daily allowance and the meager stipend I received as a science high school student.
When I finally earned a bit of extra money for myself, I found myself caught in different choices. One choice leans into ignoring my mental health problems and just spending my money on impulse buying. The other choice is the more responsible one but also very expensive which is what I took and that is availing mental health services to get the help I need.
As I shared in the past, this made me spend a lot of my 1BCH hodl as the savings I had were not enough for the treatment plan.
Moreover, I was a bit overconfident about money back then. I thought I have an endless supply of money (I blame the mania for that) and instead of taking advantage of free services, I kept spending money for private services.
These expenses added up, and I almost stopped getting help. Until I experienced a major depressive episode which made me realize I need to be wiser in my decisions.
For a student like me, free services are best in making my budget stretch out. Instead of using my savings for therapy, psychiatric consultation, and medication, I could eliminate much expenses if I just take advantage of free mental health services.
First one that I now appreciate is the free e-consultation/ teleconsult/ face to face consultation offered by NCMH. If you are interested in this service, let me know so I can share a bit more about how to register, and what to expect as well as how to follow up on your next appointment.
The only downside of this is that the consultation lasts only for about 10 minutes since there are many patients. You would really need to have a lot of patience when availing this service as it is free so you better make sure you make the most out of it.
After the consultation, they would give prescription if you need one to handle your symtoms.
This prescription is needed to get free medications from the Malasakit Center. Although you can still use non-NCMH prescriptions if you want to buy cheaper meds from NCMH pharmacy. You could just not use it to get free meds.
Free medications sound great, right? Now we just have to discuss what you need for this service.
First thing you need is an NCMH prescription. You can get this via e-consultation (for new patients) / teleconsult/ face toface consultation.
If you attend an e-consultation or teleconsult, you will receive an e-prescription. You would need to print three (3) copies of it. If you are from a face to face consultation, I saw that they just give 3 copies of the prescription.
Next thing you need is a photocopy of your valid ID. This is easy enough to get, right?
The last requirement to avail this free meds is Certificate of Indigency from your Barangay. I think that I got mine for free. The reason I put in the certificate was for medical assistance.
Now you are ready to get your free medications. But if you are going to ask a family member to get the medications for you, you would need an authorization letter as well as a photocopy of their valid ID.
Now go to the NCMH in Mandaluyong City, and they will be able to assist you there. You would need to ask the guard where the Malasakit Center is. There are forms to be filled so make sure to bring your own ballpen.
The whole process from getting to the NCMH and claiming my free medications only took about an hour. So in my opinion it is definitely worth takin advantage of.
If you need help with mental health, I highly suggest looking for free services in the country. I am lucky to be close enough to the NCMH so I was able to enjoy the free services. May you also have some free resources available to you.
Now, I would only need to focus on spending money for psychotherapy, and a private consultaion with my main psychiatrist (only when needed instead of in bi-weekly meetings) to discuss how to proceed with the treatment.
If you are a college student, I suggest talking to the Guidance Counselpr about your problems, usually they do free counselling but if your problems are beyond their abilities then they would refer you to mental health professionals. Or if you feel uncomfortable reaching out to authority figures, you may look for the Peers Facilitators organization in your University. They are mental health advocates who are there to listen and to help you get the help you need if your prpblems are beyond their scope.
Hopefully, this article could be of help to someone.
Thank you for reading this article!
If you want to read some more articles of mine, I have monthly summaries here:
May 2022 Articles Summary
April 2022 Articles Summary
March 2022 Articles Summary
February 2022 Article Summary
January 2022 Articles Summary
December 2021 Articles Summary
November 2021 Articles Summary
October 2021 Articles Summary
September 2021 Articles Summary
August 2021 Articles Summary
July 2021 Articles Summary
June 2021 Articles Summary
May 2021 Articles Summary