In time for the celebration of the National Mental Health Week, the Department of Health (DOH) –Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) on Wednesday inaugurated the Acute Psychiatric Unit (APU) inside the Batangas Medical Center.
Regional Director Eduardo Janairo said the tasks of acute psychiatric inpatient care were to keep patients safe, assess and evaluate their problems, treat their mental illness, meet their basic care needs and provide physical healthcare within days.
“Most persons with mental disorders don’t seek medical help…we must be able to recognize these signs before it (sic) comes full blown,” he said.
“Mental health must begin in childhood. They must grow up with the feeling of safety and security and protected from any harm,” he added.
Among the five most common mental disorders that can be treated in the APU are schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, and other psychotic disorders.
According to Dr. Anne Marie Pineda, Chief of the Psychiatry Department of the Batangas Medical Center, acute psychiatric inpatient hospitalization needed a high level of care intended to meet the needs of individuals who exhibit emotional and behavioral signs that put them at risk of harm to themselves or to others.
“Some individuals are incapable to render or unable to care for themselves. We have to confine them for treatment with the presence of a 24-hour staff complete with medication and supervision,” she explained.
The funding and construction of the APU building was made possible through the DOH Facility Enhancement Program.
It is a 10-bed unit that will provide treatment to more severely ill mental health patients, for 30 days. Patients required to have long-term care will be transferred to another facility with a higher level of care.
The opening of the APU will also complement the on-going efforts of the mental health program of the regional office to reach out to persons with mental disorders through its “Kapit-Bisig Helpline” through Log in to Facebook | Facebook from 10AM to 12NN and 1PM to 3PM every Tuesdays and Thursdays where those who are stressed out due to the COVID pandemic and other mental health concerns can seek help.
“The establishment of the APU in Calabarzon is the realization of DOH’s vision for BatMC to be a Psychiatric Center in the region,” Janairo said.