Baguio Implements Mental Health Programs to Boost Employee Productivity

BAGUIO, Philippines — The city of Baguio is stepping up efforts to address mental health issues among its government employees, implementing programs designed to enhance their well-being and productivity. This initiative comes in response to an increasing number of employees seeking mental health interventions, with at least two cases reported monthly since 2023.

According to Philippines News Agency, head of the Mental Health and Wellness Unit of the City Health Services Office (CHSO), the growing number of employees coming forward for help highlights the pressing need to address mental health concerns as seriously as any physical illness. Dr. Ducas pointed out that conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety compounded by substance abuse are common not only among city government employees but also the general public.

The city’s response includes the formulation of implementing rules under Executive Order 136-2023, which is nearing completion. This order follows Ordinance 29-2021, establishing a comprehensive mental health care and developmental wellness program for city government employees. In 2023 alone, 399 individuals sought support from the CHSO’s mental health unit. Services provided included maintenance medication, psychiatric evaluations, intervention to prevent self-harm, and talk therapy. Currently, 201 individuals are actively receiving assistance from the unit.

Furthermore, Dr. Ducas mentioned a partnership with a private firm to assess around 600 local government employees, many of whom expressed interest in participating in the mental health wellness program, highlighting the community’s proactive engagement in improving mental health support.