THE Department of Health (DOH) urged stakeholders and organizations to pursue the integration of mental health services with climate action in the region.
This was the agency’s call during the Regional Summit for Mental Health and Climate Change held in Leyte to commemorate the 10th year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, or Super Typhoon “Yolanda,” one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, which hit the Philippines back in November 2013.
The activity aimed to promote public awareness and a deep understanding on the impact of climate change which can exacerbate problems in mental health and psychosocial well-being.
The DOH was represented by Public Health Services Team Undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire and Eastern Visayas Center for Health Development Regional Director Dr. Exuperia Sabalberino during the event, which was anchored on the World Health Organization Policy Brief that urges countries to include mental health support in response to climate crisis.
In a recorded message, DOH Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said “Forging a joint commitment to address the impacts of climate change on mental health and well-being as a shared pledge is a testament to the importance of collaboration and unity in tackling these crucial issues; as addressing the mental health impacts of climate change is a complex and multi-faceted endeavor that requires a coordinated effort from various sectors.”
He said that as the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change on mental health, he urged everyone to commit to prioritize mental health support as a fundamental component of climate action plans to protect both the physical and mental well-being of the population.