Until recently, the issue of mental health has never been openly discussed in the Philippines. Despite the passage of the Mental Health law, the negative stigma against it still affects the way people see mental health. But like every other health concern, mental health disorders should be treated accordingly.
Unfortunately, psychiatric services don't come cheap and are often inaccessible. According to the World Health Organization, only 3 percent of government spending worldwide goes into public mental healthcare, so those who can't afford regular rates often leave their conditions untreated. There are, however, a few places in the Philippines offering their services for less or for free and here's where you can find them:
Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center
Sumulong Highway, Sto Niño, Marikina City
The medical center's acute psychiatric clinic offers basic consultations and brief psychotherapeutic techniques to help their patients.
National Center for Mental Health
Nueve de Pebrero Street, Mauway, Mandaluyong City
Consultation is considerably affordable at P400 and give out free medication to their patients. It operates under the Department of Health as a Special Research Training Center and Hospital.
Ateneo Center for Family Ministries
Seminary Drive, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
The Spiritual-Pastoral Center mainly provides family and couple counseling, but they also provide free psychiatric consultation using a psycho-spiritual approach. Counseling sessions are scheduled by appointment. If it's your first session, come 15 minutes earlier than your scheduled appointment to fill out necessary forms. Services are free but donations are encouraged.
Philippine General Hospital
2/F Ward 7, 1730 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila
The Philippine General Hospital's Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Department offers free psychiatric consultations. Long queues should be expected but the consultations are available for 24 hours.
UST Graduate School's Psychotrauma Clinic
España Boulevard, Sampaloc, Manila
The clinic offers free psychological services including assessment and evaluation, counseling, and individual or group psychotherapy. It's open to everyone and has been offering their services since 2002.
Here's a list of counseling hotlines in the Philippines:
Mobile: 0917-800-1123 and 0922-893-8944
Landline: 525-1753 and 525-1881
This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.