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Go emphasizes the significance of putting students’ mental health first.

On Friday, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go emphasized the need to prioritize students’ mental health, particularly in basic education, to further solidify the basis upon which the nation’s future is constructed.

The Senate Committee on Health and Demography’s chairperson said that while a basic education gives young people the knowledge, skills, and values they need to be good citizens and contributors to society, it is important to remember that students’ overall well-being when pursuing academic excellence.

A child cannot succeed academically if his or her emotional well-being is affected, he said, “We must acknowledge the inseparable link between education and mental health.”

He claimed that this drove his decision to support Senator Sherwin Gatchalian’s Senate Bill No. 2200, also known as the Basic Education’s Mental Health and Well-Being Promotion Act, on May 17 during plenary sessions.

SBN 2200 mandates that both private and public basic education institutions incorporate mental health education and support services into their curricula to provide comprehensive mental health support for students’ basic education and foster their overall well-being.

Go stated that encouraging mental health must be a significant part of the educational system for students to develop resilience, coping skills, and emotional intelligence, essential for their overall growth and success given the rising prevalence of mental health issues among youth, such as anxiety and depression.

“Mental health is crucial, and the urgent problems are disturbing. Numerous members of our country have reported experiencing depression even in the early stages of the pandemic, he said.

Additionally, he mentioned numerous suicide incidents involving despondent students and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) at the quarantine facilities.

According to the World Health Organization, 16 percent of Filipino youngsters had mental problems in 2017, which may be higher now.

While 2,147 students tried suicide in 2021, 404 public school students committed suicide, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

If SBN 2200 is enacted into law, it will formalize the School-Based Mental Health Program in all basic education public and private schools, promoting mental health awareness and managing the mental health issues of all students, including preventing suicide in schools.

Every public basic education school in the country must also set up and operate a Care Center, and all private basic education schools in the nation must do the same.

The Center must have practical physical infrastructure, be situated in a suitable area where confidentiality is upheld, and be accessible to students, teaching staff, and other staff members.

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