(This article was also published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer http://opinion.inquirer.net/112047/serious-menace-afflicting-inmates)
In my short time of incarceration, I have witnessed three incidents which prompted me to write this letter.
1) A suicide attempt of an inmate. I think he has post-traumatic stress disorder because of betrayal and the effects of the series of bombings in Marawi City.
2) I saw three keloid scars due to cuts on the wrist of another inmate. When confronted, he admitted trying Russian roulette, not to the head, but to his thigh.
3) I also saw a single keloid on the wrist of another inmate due to relationship problems.
These cases, I believe, are related to mental health problems. I tried suggesting to the jail personnel that the inmate involved in the first case should be checked by a psychiatrist.
The reply: It has to get clearance first. And that’s that.
Mental health problem is a menace often neglected but should be taken seriously.
A modest recommendation is for the Philippine National Police to organize seminars or orientation on mental health and make necessary resolutions on how to manage mental health cases of inmates.
BENITO QUILLOY, political detainee, Camp Crame, Cubao, Quezon City