A Socio-ecological Framing of the Philippine Mental Health Act of 2017

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Josiah Michael Villareal De Los Santos
Sonya Jakubec

Abstract

Filipinos experience numerous barriers to mental health care in their country, such as stigmatization of
illness and behaviours, lack of mental health care services, and resource deficits. The Philippine Mental
Health Act of 2017 was formed to resolve these issues and is in its early stages of implementation.
Legislation and policy interventions of this nature are but one level of many interventions that can address
health care at a population level. The influence of this legislation for different levels of society is analyzed in
order to understand the different barriers and alternatives to its implementation. Solutions suggested in the
legislation, such as addressing lack of accessibility in rural areas, creating liaisons between different levels
of mental health care, and educating the population regarding mental health, are explored for their effects on
different spheres, or levels, of influence. The comprehensiveness of the legislation to address the needs of
mental health service users are highlighted, as are barriers to implementation that inhibit the realization of
practical strategies. This policy case review and analysis informs program development by highlighting the
strengths and weaknesses aligned to the legislative articles’ target sphere of influence and the population.

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Section
Health Sciences