Bohol’s first volunteer-run mental health center PAGPAKABUHI is looking to extend its reach by conducting trainings for interested groups particularly local government units (LGU).
According to PAGPAKABUHI founder Em-Em Uy, they want to open more branches of the Baclayon-based facility which offers free mental health services but the group lacks resources and manpower.
They will instead offer mental health responder trainings to interested parties as the group has been receiving multiple requests for them to expand.
“Ang PAGPAKABUHI dako among kasing-kasing pero gamay pa g’yud ang atong mga taw, dili pa ta maka-afford, dili pa ta pwede na mo branch out,” said Uy.
“Dili ta pwede makatukod og branch pero pwede ta mo-capacitate,” she added.
According to Uy, they can train both those with background on mental health response such as psychologists, guidance counselors and social workers and also those without experience.
Uy noted that PAGPAKABUHI has been receiving help from concerned citizens who have no background on the field.
“Sila ang pinakadali makaalign pero sa among experience sa PAGPAKABUHI, naay mga dili belong sa adtong mga giingon na profession pero tungod lang g’yud sa ilang willingness na mo tabang, this can be learned,” she said.
Volunteers also need not engage in mental health response but instead contribute through other means such as helping to maintain the center.
“Naay uban na with humility na ‘gusto ko motabang ani na advocacy pero dili nako kaya na akoy manambag, mo counselling. Kahibaw nako na di nako linya so akong mahimo is to help the center manilhig, mag-atiman.’ But even with that, they are contributing to the whole cause,” Uy said.
LGUs and organizations interested in putting their own mental health response center may coordinate with PAGPAKABUHI.
PAGPAKABUHI was launched in October last year amid a rising number of suicide cases in the province at the time.
It has been gaining more volunteers since its inauguration and has been spearheading the mental health awareness campaign in the province along with other groups such Project Bohol: Mental Health Awareness and KALINAW. (A. Doydora)