Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Medical City Launches its Center for Behavioral Health


Mental health is one of the most important aspects of overall health, as it defines how our body works. Through the years, the World Health Organization (WHO) included mental health in its definition of health to emphasize its importance. The magnitude of the consequences of undetected and untreated mental illness has been evident in the number of suicide cases and increasing health costs.


According to the most recent data gathered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 14 and the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-24.” According to the data, “the United States has lost $193.2 billion of earnings per year from serious mental illness.”

Maria Imelda Batar, MD, Chairman, Dept of Psychiatry
As a response, the Department of Health (DOH) has improved and increased its mental health programs which include a Suicide Prevention Program in partnership with a non-government organization. The Philippine Psychiatric Association has also sponsored the Philippine Mental Health Act to help make mental health services more accessible in the country.

The Medical City (TMC) Department of Psychiatry, being the only private institution in the country that offers complete psychiatry subspecialties, also takes a more active role in addressing the growing mental health needs of the country. Hence, the Center for Behavioral Health (CBH) was established.

Ms. Cheche Lazaro
Last May 18, 2018, the Center for Behavioral Health was officially launched, with their keynote speaker, award winning journalist, Ms. Cheche Lazaro. During the program, she talked about how social media and technology can greatly affect mental health. 

The CBH is the first in the country to offer services that cover the entire continuum of mental health care –  from wellness to illness; from assessment to early recognition, to therapeutic intervention to home care; from care that necessitates one therapist to care that necessitates shared responsibility among several team members; from individual therapy to group therapy, and from promotive to preventive care. The CBH is headed by Dr. Mary Daryl Joyce Lindo-Calleja.

Aside from General and Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry services, the CBH offers services to address addiction, and children and teens' behavioral health challenges.

The CBH's Addiction Psychiatry Services include an Outpatient Detoxification Program, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, and Relapse Prevention I and II. The outpatient detoxification program is designed for patients with a history of substance abuse who wish to undergo detoxification to get rid of the substance and its ill effects.

Alfredo Bengzon, MD, President & CEO, The Medical City
The Motivational Enhancement Therapy or MET is a five-session module designed for patients with a history of substance abuse who wish to live a life of sobriety, but are also undecided about abstaining and how to initiate change. There are two programs under Relapse Prevention, namely Group Therapy and Distress Tolerance and Emotion Regulation Skills Training.

The following services are being offered to address children and adolescents' mental health concerns − Group Therapy for Teens, The Parenting Toolkit, and School Mental Health Consult. The Group Therapy for Teens is a group therapy module for adolescents with depression and anxiety designed to enhance self-esteem, utilizing arts-based activities and sharing of experiences to foster a sense of group cohesion and individual empowerment.


The Parenting Toolkit is a half-day workshop designed to teach parents effective skills to raise emotionally and behaviorally healthy children. It combines lectures, role playing, and case-based group discussions. Separate workshops are designed for pre-school and school-age children as well as adolescents.

The School Mental Health Consult is a consultation service designed to continuously provide school counselors and administrators expert assistance on how to address the myriad mental health challenges schools face today.

For more information, please call the Center for Behavioral Health at 9881000 ext. 6135 or 6282.


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