House approves Gasataya’s bill on SUCs mental health services

The House of Representatives on Wednesday, November 17, approved the bill authored by Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya that will provide free mental health services in state universities and colleges (SUCs).

Voting 201-0-0, the House of Representatives passed on third and final reading House Bill 10284, otherwise known as the proposed State Universities and Colleges Mental Health Service Act, Gasataya said.

“We are hoping that this bill helps save lives and eliminates a barrier to learning through lightening the mental and emotional toll of our students who are under a lot of pressure, especially now with the pandemic at hand,” he said.

The bill mandates the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to require all SUCs to establish a mental health office in all their campuses.

The offices must have campus hotlines with dedicated and trained guidance counselors to provide assistance to the whole SUC community, Gasataya said.

The bill requires the hiring, training and deployment of mental health personnel in SUCs and a heightened campaign to raise collective consciousness about mental health, he added.

It should focus on suicide prevention, stress handling, mental health and nutrition, and guidance counseling, Gasataya said.*

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