Bulacan’s mental health confab focuses on addiction

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Br. Raymond Marquez F.M. tackles addiction and its cycle in a symposium on Mental Health held in Bulacan, Oct. 8, 2016 (Photo: Rainier Policarpio)

BOCAUE, Bulacan, Oct. 10, 2016 – In line with the celebration of World Mental Health Day today, the Brothers of Mercy of St. John of God recently held a symposium on mental health touching on addiction and other mental illnesses at the De Lour Pavilion, Igulot, Bocaue, Bulacan, Saturday, Oct. 8.

“A strong support group – the family and the society – plays a very important role in the recovery of the recovering addict,” said Br. Raymond Marquez F.M., Prior of the congregation in Bulacan, who gave one of the talks for the symposium titled “The Battle You and Your Family Must Know”

He stressed that recovering from addiction involves a strategic process, thus, treatment should be initiated before it is too late.

Compulsory treatment

The symposium was divided into two parts that were primarily focused on addiction and mental illnesses. Among the speakers were:

  • Br. Raymond Marquez F.M., Prior of Brothers of Mercy of St. John of God in Bulacan
  • Celso Mangaoil Jr., guidance counselor at Adamson University
  • Lovely Lucky Evarretta, psychology professor at De La Salle University in Lipa
  • Br. Lolito Cruz, HIV and family counselor at San Lazaro Hospital
  • Ma. Angela Mabale, instructor at UP-Manila College of Nursing
  • Meanwhile, Mangaoil recommended that compulsory treatment should be given to individuals who have surrendered to the government under “Oplan Tokhang.”

“The purpose should not only be for identification, but rather the drug victims should be given support as ‘cravings’ and social pressure can be very difficult to resist,” he added.

‘Life is sacred’

Likewise, Daneza Hamol, a psychology student of Colegio de San Gabriel Arcangel, expressed her views on the recent summary executions, saying, “Life is sacred… We must try to understand and help the drug dependents because they can still be treated.”

The Brothers of Mercy of St. John of God, who also take care of psychiatric patients at the Hospicio de San Juan de Dios in Bulacan, organize similar seminars twice a year as part of their apostolate.

“We intend to teach students, health workers and church organizations, at least, the basics about mental health,” explained Marquez.

“Our youth should also be aware about the ill-effects of addiction and how they can resist the temptation.”

More than 120 participants and guests, mostly psychology students from different colleges in Bulacan, joined the event. (Myraine Carluen-Policarpio / CBCP News)

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