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If you are a kid that is usually in the streets or loves going outside, you might have noticed mentally ill individuals roaming the streets. As usual, some people laugh at them and mocking them without trying to understand why they are like that in the first place. Over-long ignorance about mental health is already common in the Philippines.
The issue of neglecting seriousness in mental health has become worse because of the pandemic. It is disregarded more after seeing how incompetent and poor our health care system is. Since people are told to stay at home, there was already a matter arising from it, specially to those people who fear staying at home because they have abusive family member. Also, some people’s anxiety and depression are triggered when they are at home in their room, alone. This is why the cry of help became louder these days, yet the country cannot provide the solution to every mentally ill individual.
In the country, we only have 600 psychiatrists. Imagine this number of psychiatrists for 100 million Filipinos. They are not enough for the all of us. They are outnumbered. According to World Health Organization, there are approximately 3.6 million Filipinos who suffers from different kinds of mental illnesses. Even though a law is protecting these people, it will remain as a single piece of paper waiting to be acknowledged by people above the supervision.
Sadly, some people with mental illness also suffer from discrimination. They need a private health insurance since right now, PhilHealth does not cover any medical expenses when it comes to psychiatry. The enacted Universal Health Care Act seem to be sleeping and not for every Filipinos. This is not accessible to everyone, specially to those in the other side of the country. The accessibility to this kind of assistance is hard.
Aside from the neglect of taking a look in the area of psychiatric, the problem is on the power. Remember the scandal of PhilHealth? Robbing from people and taxes just because they have the power and position in the government. Despite the pandemic, there are still people who afford to commit this devious crime. Billions of money from people were lost in sight. While people are afraid of getting the virus, putting their trust and fate to soldiers in this field, medical workers. Yet, hearing from the news about the corruption, the shame and blame are not on us who are sick or will be sick, but on the people who take our opportunity to be cured and heal.
As of now, I just hope everything will be back to normal and how it is used to be.