In the first episode of Podcast Bangsamoro, Member of the Parliament (MP) Amir Mawallil was joined by MP Rasol Mitmug Jr. to highlight Islamic mental health efforts in the region amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to MP Mitmug, addressing mental health concerns is of equal importance. Mental health concerns should be discussed and given attention despite the stigma on mental illness in the country especially now that we are facing a pandemic. His Office as Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) member, together with the Health Organization for Mindanao (HOM), created an online platform which aims to respond to the common mental health needs of communities. Modules and materials have been improved to focus more on Islamic Mental Health (IMH) and are readily available on the IMH website and facebook page. As part of the IMH initiative, HOM will be training those who want to help in this effort especially those who have background in psychology.
When asked about his motivation for giving attention to mental health, he mentioned local experiences during the Yolanda disaster, Marawi conflict and Mamasapano encounter. The communities directly affected by these crises experienced depressive symptoms and other mental health concerns but less attention was given to that matter. Taking care of mental health can be easily overlooked, hence, efforts concerning mental health in the region should be initiated and supported. He further revealed that his Office is currently reviewing and checking codes, potential policies and laws that will give attention to this issue.
While challenges on mental health is a growing health concern in the region, it is a blessing that the Bangsamoro region is still on its transition period, thus, codes are still being drafted. Particularly, measures on mental health can still be incorporated by the BTA members which can safeguard the general welfare of BARMM constituents should another pandemic and even other forms of disaster affecting mental health arise. The implementation of these programs are without hurdles given the population, diversity of languages, number of practitioners, among others, but MP Mitmug is hopeful since efforts are being supported by concerned agencies and organizations.
You may catch the episode with MP Mitmug by visiting this link: https://bit.ly/3et89rp