Representative Gina de Venecia has drafted a bill that deals with Youth Suicide and how the government can educate the youth about the symptoms of depression and programs schools can make in order to prevent suicide from happening.
Held in Conference Rooms 9 and 10 in the Ramon Mitra Building in Congress, the committee on health listened to NGF president Jean Goulbourn and Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPA) President, Dr. Romeo Enriquez on their comments on the bill and how it can be further improved.
The entire room was silenced for 7 minutes as NGF President, Jean Goulbourn spoke about the many challenges NGF faces as an NGO dealing with mental fitness. She spoke on the stigma still attached to depression and how this prevents Filipinos from seeking the help that they need. She urged the government to take a more proactive stand in dealing with depression- especially among the youth as younger and younger people are now suffering from this mental illness.
After she spoke, several representatives were inspired and asked the bill to pass the first hearing.
The bill will now have to go through several more hearings before being passed. However, this is a step in the right direction as more and more people in the government are seeing the necessity of being more concerned on mental health.