Mentally challenged individuals in Negros Oriental are expected to avail of the free services offered by the country’s psychiatrists, psychologists and doctors during a one-day specialized medical mission Saturday, at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex.

At least 15 psychiatrists from Cebu are coming to conduct the mental medical mission, assisted by at least 35 of their support staff in line with the governor’s HELP program.

Board member Dr. Liland Estacion, chair of the committee on health of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan made the mission possible with the full support of Gov Roel Degamo.

Estacion said the initial dose of medicine will be given free to mentally challenged individuals who will be examined by psychiatrists who are challenging the governor to find the means to shoulder their maintenance medicines especially those of indigent patients.

In La Libertad, monthly maintenance medicine for mentally challenged individuals is shouldered by the town and this can be replicated in the whole province, he said.

Estacion also stressed the preventive aspect of the mental mission because treatment is very costly.  Borderline cases have to be determined, identified and acted upon, to prevent a full blown case of mental illness.

Due to the scarcity all over the country of psychiatrists, with only three based in Dumaguete, Estacion is enjoining families of mentally-deranged individuals to take advantage of the free clinic.

The police was also invited to attend a lecture on how to deal with mentally-ill individuals.*JG