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DOH: ROTC curing mental health problems would vary for every learner

The possibility of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program curing mental health problems may not be applicable for all learners as every person has different needs to be mentally healthy, Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said Tuesday.

The health official made this remark when asked at a press conference for a comment on Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.’s statement that the proposed mandatory ROTC program can help cure mental health problems and train students "to the limit," as it is experiential unlike the National Service Training Program (NTSP).

While admitting that she is not a psychiatrist, Vergeire said that each person has a different approach to responding to mental health problems and becoming resilient.

“Ang masasabi ko lang, it’s not going to be the same for every person. Iba-iba ang capacity ng isang tao to respond and to become resilient on their own. Iba-iba rin ang mga kailangan bawat tao para sila ay maging mentally healthy. It’s not going to be the same for each person,” she said.

(All I can say is that it's not the same for every person. A person's capacity to respond and to become resilient on their own varies. The needs of each person to be mentally healthy are also different. It's not going to be the same for each person.)

Vergeire said that the DOH was coordinating with the Department of Education (DepEd) on mental health services in schools and ensuring that students’ mental health wellness was uplifted.

She added that mental health hotlines were in place, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) offered a mental health package to make it more accessible to the public, even students.

“Hindi naman kailangan laging ginagamot. Hindi kailangang i-discriminate. Just the counseling minsan ay nakakatulong na para sa ating mga estudyante,” Vergeire said.

(Mental health problems do not always necessarily need to be treated. There’s no need to discriminate. Sometimes, just the counseling could already be helpful for our students.)

Following recent reports of violence in several schools, the DepEd earlier said it will seek help from mental health experts and advocates to craft and implement programs to address such issues. — DVM, GMA Integrated News