by Rex Godinez Ortega, OC

IN AN effort to speed up the assessment of the mental health status of MSU-IIT students, the Institute is now automating the process by making use of its e-learning facility in the administration of the assessment tool being employed by its Office of Guidance and Counseling (OGC).

The collection of information is crucial to the Institute’s mission of making intervention programs to address mental health issues, particularly suicide, that may affect its students.  

By partnering with the Center for e-Learning, the OGC can now administer the assessment online, greatly improving their ability to collect information.

“The group decided to automate the tool for easy tracking of high-risk students for interventions, follow-up, and close monitoring,” says OGC acting head Evelyn I. Dominguez, RGC. 

OGC is also working closely with Clinical Psychologist and College of Education (CED) Professor Imelu G. Mordeno in the administration of the Online Assessment for Students’ Well-Being in the campus throughout the month of September.

According to Prof. Cenie Vilela-Malabanan, Director of the Center for e-Learning, the hour-long test is administered at the center to batches of second-year students from Monday to Friday from September 9 – 24, 2019.

The administration of the online assessment is part of the efforts by MSU-IIT to continue finding ways to protect its students from the threat of suicide and mental health issues.

It is also pursuant to the country’s Mental Health Law or Republic Act No. 11036 that President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law last year, and that integrates mental health into the general healthcare system of the Philippines.

The landmark law, authored and sponsored principally by Senator Risa Hontiveros, also has, as one of its four components, the integration of mental health education in schools and workplaces.

The importance placed by the law on mental health is in response to the already known fact that mental illnesses are not that uncommon. 

According to the Training Officer at the Department of Psychiatry of the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center, Joan Mae Perez Rifareal, MD, FPPA, one out of five Filipinos suffer from a certain type of mental illness.

“Mental health illnesses can also be attributed as the third most common cause of morbidity of Filipinos,” Rifareal adds. 

The administration of the online assessment tool by the OGC and the Center for e-Learning is in compliance with the law’s requirement for schools to develop policies and adopt systems that will protect and promote their students’ mental well being.

Photos by: MICeL