The day after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Mental Health Law into force on 21 June, the #HelpIsHere hashtag circulated quickly across different social media platforms in the Philippines. For many Filipinos, it had been a long time coming.

Cedric Hodreal is among those celebrating the passage of the law. He’s been living with post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and major depression for a year now and has been undertaking medication and cognitive behavioural therapy.

“I think the biggest benefit of the law, at least for me, is society as a whole acknowledging that it’s a legitimate problem, that people with mental health sickness are sick and not just acting out,” he says.

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Adrian Reodique

Adrian Reodique is a communications professional based in Manila, Philippines. He previously worked as a business-to-business journalist where his articles appeared in different publications in Southeast Asia such as CIO Asia, Computerworld Philippines/Singapore, Bank IT Asia, MIS Asia, GCIO Asia, Singapore Business Review, Asian Power, and Vulcan Post.