New mental health clinic to open at Centuria Medical Makati

At the virtual signing to seal the partnership between Century Properties Group (CPG) and Shelter from the Storm are (clockwise from left) Centuria Medical Makati General Manager Rey Dimaano; CPG Corporate Communications Head Terrie Fucanan-Yu; Katrina Corpuz and Mr. Cenen Enrique Corpuz, Shelter from the Storm, Inc. Executive Director; CPG Human Resources and Administration Group Head Ritchelle Cordero; and CPG Managing Director Jose Carlo R. Antonio.

[June 2021, Makati] In its efforts to make mental healthcare services accessible to its employees and more people, Century Properties Group (CPG) has partnered with the mental wellness organization Shelter from the Storm, Inc. (SFTS) to open a therapy clinic in CPG’s outpatient medical facility Centuria Medical in Century City, Makati.

The initiative is under CPG’s corporate social responsibility program that aims to give a person’s psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing of equal importance as physical health, especially in light of pandemic-induced challenges.

As part of the agreement, CPG is providing SFTS free clinic spaces for three years including dues to expand its psycho-social health and resiliency programs in these trying times. SFTS for its part will provide for all CPG employees and their immediate family members with free mental health consultation or assessment sessions, plus free quarterly seminars covering a range of topics on mental wellbeing.

CPG Managing Director Jose Carlo R. Antonio, who is co-heading the initiative with CPG Vice Chairman John Victor R. Antonio, said the company chose to advocate for mental healthcare as it is often a neglected aspect of wellbeing. “Most of us focus on physical health, preventing COVID, and financial health. Although these are all important, stronger mental health is also a core component of wellbeing. By focusing on mental health, one can better manage one’s physical health and financial issues.

“We definitely want to help especially those whose abilities to persevere are being tested as this pandemic continues. We thank Shelter from the Storm for being open to this initiative and we hope this gives people the help that they need right now,” he said.

Shelter from the Storm (SFTS) Executive Director Cenen Corpus agrees that mental health and behavioral healthcare are much overlooked and under-appreciated advocacies in the country. “We want to lift up the people behind CPG and the Antonio Family who took upon the challenge to dive into this advocacy. Mental health has a far longer-term effect and consequences for individuals in our workplace, our community, and society as a whole.  Our desire is to help those with acute and chronic mental health conditions, for our friends and loved ones who are suffering.

“We’re committed to pushing to the fore the discussion on the challenges of individual family healthcare, family mental wellness, and work-life balance particularly. Certainly, being situated in Centuria Medical will enhance access for people and CPG employees. This collaboration will be a shelter from the brewing and lingering mental health storm challenging all of us,” he said.

Centuria Medical Makati General Manager Rey Dimaano welcomed SFTS to its facility as not only a good complement to the existing clinics in the building, but more importantly “in addressing the increasing need for mental healthcare especially in these times.” CPG Human Resources and Administration Group Head Ritchelle Cordero likewise underscored the value of such a support program in the company as it “plays a critical role in creating a healthier working environment for CPG employees and nurtures a truly caring community.”

Based on data from the World Health Organization, mental and behavioral disorders account for about 14% of the global burden of disease and as many as 450 million people suffer from these illnesses. According to the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health conducted in the early part of 2020 shows that at least 3.6 million Filipinos suffer from one kind of mental, neurological, and substance use disorder.

The pandemic has further affected the mental health of older adults, healthcare providers, and people with underlying health conditions, the DOH said. Furthermore, there is less than one mental health worker for every 100,000 Filipinos, with more people unable to gain access to such services, said DOH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III.

Shelter from the Storm has been helping people change lives since 2009 by supporting their successful recovery from mental health. It provides coaching and counseling, workplace mental health services, psychological assessment, addiction treatment, and promotes alternative interventions and services to strengthen mental health and behavioral healthcare. It has an in-house facility in Antipolo, Rizal, an outpatient facility in Quezon City, and soon, a new therapy clinic in Centuria Medical Makati. #