The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has given its approval to numerous endeavors being undertaken by Congress to address students’ mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the CHR, the government has been persistent in its attempts to tackle school kids’ mental issues and one of the measures they’ve put in place is House Bill (HB) No. 0284 also known as the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) Mental Health Service Act. 

“We thank the House of Representatives for the approval of this bill on its second reading, and we hope for its expedited approval to help students in higher education institutions (HEIs) cope better with the pressures brought about during this pandemic,” CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia shared on Monday (November 15). 

De Guia revealed that the Department of Education (DepEd) has reached out to the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Tropical Medicine and Public Health Network (SEAMEO TROPMED) for the initial implementation of the bill. 

“The School Mental Health program will feature modules and a screening tool to explain mental health issues, and give psychosocial support and services to students as well as school personnel,” De Guia said.

Besides addressing issues on mental health, HB No. 0284 will also train faculty members and other non-teaching personnel in creating safe spaces for students to learn.

De Guia noted that measures like this one are essential for students, especially during periods similar to the pandemic. 

“At a time when numerous students are feeling the pressures of online schooling, the aforementioned actions are a timely response to ensuring a comprehensive set of solutions to the growing problems of student burnout in all levels of education,” she emphasized. 

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Image credit: CHR; House of Representatives