Mental health issues seem to have become more prevalent in the Philippines after the pandemic hit. According to one study, 1/4 of their respondents reported moderate-to-severe anxiety while 1/6 reported moderate-to-severe depression. The National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline has also shared that it has received a significant increase in hotline calls regarding depression, from 80 calls pre-lockdown to almost 400 calls every month. As such, House Bill 6253 aka the ‘Mental Wellness Leave Act’ comes at a time when Filipinos need it the most.
This bill seeks to grant a 5-day mental wellness leave to workers in the Philippines on top of the existing mandatory sick leaves and vacation leaves. This leave can be used by workers to talk to mental health professionals, go to therapy, or simply take a break from everyday stress. The bill will also require employers to undergo mental health programs and prevention programs to address the rise of pandemic-induced depressive disorders and suicide rates.
Bill author Rep. Alfred delos Santos says, “Such programs will ease the stress among our workers. Employers stand to gain from this as workers receiving such aid can become more productive.”
What are your thoughts on this bill?
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