Press Release
June 28, 2019

Statement of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on DOH & NGF separation of hotline operations

The Department of Health has established that they will provide a specific hotline under their jurisdiction. We look forward to proper coordination between Natasha GOLDBOURN Foundation's Hopeline initiative and the DOH's new service, so that we can see convergent and efficient progress in the collection of data and the appropriate attention to individual cases of mental health issues in the Philippines.

I'm grateful that Hopeline has found a way to continue operating, and I am confident that impact should be minimal now that it has secured independent funding. I hope for stronger partnerships between the public and private sectors as we ensure the consistent availability and maximum support of this service.

We are confident that the Department of Health will properly inform the public once their hotline service becomes available.

Although the Mental Health Law is an undeniable milestone in the Philippines, we still have a long way to go when it comes to breaking down the longstanding wall of stigma.

A hotline removes a significant layer of that wall, and allows people and institutions to be connected in times when it matters the most. The government's commitment and priority must be the mental health of the Filipino people. We must sustain our people's line to essential hope.

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