House approves mental health bill on 2nd reading

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mental health bill
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The House Representatives approved on second reading a bill that spells out the right of persons with mental health issues.

According to House Bil Number 6452 or “Comprehensive Mental Health Act”, “every person” should have access to the “best available” mental health care.

Here are the lists of rights of every person with mental illness, as stated in the bill.

  • “Human treatment and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”
  • Protection from forms of abuse and discrimination
  • The right to express civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights
  • Access to quality treatment and “aftercare and rehabilitation when possible” to facilitate social inclusion
  • Access to information about their disorder and services available to address it
  • “To live and work in the community, to the extend possible”
  • Access to legal representatives and carers of their choice
  • Confidentiality of all information unless a law requires disclosure, a person has given express or implied consent to its disclosure, there is good reason to believe that specific persons or groups are in threat without the disclosure
  • Access to their own medical records unless the attention mental health professional thinks it would harm the patient and others
  • Should their records be withheld, the person of legal representative may contest this before an internal review body or the Commission on Human Rights

The bill also states that a mental health patient may not be put in private confinement. HB 6425 likewise spells out the rights of family members, carers, legal representatives, and health care professionals.

The Department of Health (DOH) and Commission on Human Rights are assigned to government agencies.

Furthermore, those who will violate the provisions in the bill , once it becomes a law and regulations take effect will face a fine of not less than P10, 000 or imprisonment between 6 months to 2 years.

Earlier, the senate version of the bill passed on the 3rd and final reading on May 2017. The bill was also sponsored by Quezon 4th District Representative Helen Tan, Antipolo City 1st District Representative Cristina Roa-Puno, Marikina City 2nd District Representative Romero Quimbo, and Davao City 1st District Representative Karlo Nograles.