Implementation, Best Practices, and Challenges in Mental Health Strategies among Local Government Units in the Province of Negros Occidental, Philippines
One of the health priorities of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to promote mental health and well-being. The mental health agenda of the ASEAN region include public health strategies at the community level. The study employed a descriptive design to assess the extent of implementation of mental health strategies, the best practices, and the challenges encountered in local government units. It was administered to a total population of 90 respondents comprising healthcare workers, responders, and social workers. The findings revealed a poor extent of implementation of mental health strategies which means that only some strategies are implemented. The area on treatment and recovery was rated highest, interpreted as poor extent, while capacity building for mental health program administrators was rated lowest, poor extent. It was found that local government units are implementing best practices in mental health. However, several challenges were noted, such as the lack of formally trained mental health experts, mental health professionals, mental health facilities, and financial resources, which are indicators of poor and weak implementation. These challenges require strict enforcement by its integration into the primary healthcare program, one of the objectives of the law. The study significantly contributes to the few existing literature on the implementation of mental health strategies at the local government level identified as necessary, especially at this time of the pandemic.