Increase public school funding for mental health services
Mental health is a significant concern in the Philippines, with high levels of mental health problems reported among school-aged children and adolescents. Indicated and universal school-based interventions can play an important role in promoting mental health among students and addressing these issues.
Indicated school-based interventions in the Philippines typically involve mental health professionals, such as psychologists or counselors, providing targeted support and treatment to students who are already experiencing mental health problems or who are at high risk of developing them. This approach is important because it can provide students with the specialized support and resources they need to manage their mental health problems and prevent them from becoming more severe.
On the other hand, universal school-based interventions in the Philippines typically involve integrating mental health promotion into the regular school curriculum, with a focus on building resilience, coping skills, and social and emotional learning among all students. This approach is important because it can help to prevent mental health problems from developing in the first place and promote positive mental health among all students.
School nurses play a critical role in both indicated and universal school-based interventions in the Philippines. They can serve as a resource for students and families, providing information and referrals to mental health services as needed. They can also provide mental health education and support to students, such as teaching coping skills and stress management techniques.
However, the provision of school-based mental health services in the Philippines is often limited by a lack of public funding. However, despite an abundance of registered nurses, most public schools in the Philippines do not have any school nurses. Even full-time school nurses may not spend all their time in one school. Increased public funding is needed to ensure that all students in the Philippines have access to the mental health services and support they need. To ensure that schools have access to the resources they need to provide mental health services, it is important to develop a sustainable funding approach that allows for the ongoing provision of these services. One approach is to allocate a portion of the local school board (LSB) funds specifically for mental health services. This can include funding for mental health professionals, such as school nurses, psychologists, or counselors, as well as training for school staff and the development of mental health programs and resources.
Another approach is to leverage external funding sources, such as grants or partnerships with nongovernmental organizations, to supplement the LSB funds and expand the reach of mental health services. For example, the Department of Education has partnered with Unicef to support the implementation of a comprehensive mental health program in schools, which includes the development of mental health services and resources.
In conclusion, indicated and universal school-based interventions are important approaches to promoting mental health among students in the Philippines. School nurses play a critical role in both types of interventions, but increased public funding is needed to ensure that all students have access to the mental health services and support they need. If there is one significant investment the Philippine government must do, it is to hire more school nurses who can help bridge the gap between health care and education. Continued advocacy and education efforts are needed to prioritize mental health issues and ensure that schools have the resources they need to provide quality mental health services.
Beta Nu Delta Nursing Society