The National Center for Mental Health is dedicated to delivering preventive, curative and rehabilitative mental health care services.It is categorized as Special Research Training Center and Hospital under Department of Health on January 30, 1987. It has an authorized bed capacity of 4,200 inpatients and served an average of 56,000 outpatients per year.
NCMH was established in 1925 through Public Works Act 3258. It was formally opened on December 17, 1928 and was originally called the INSULAR PSYCHOPATIC HOSPITAL. It was later called the National Mental Hospital. On November 12, 1986, it was renamed NATIONAL CENTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH (NCMH) through Memorandum Circular No. 48 issued by the Office of the President.
NCMH was classified as Special Research training Center and Hospital under the Department of Health on January 30, 1987. It is licensed by the DOH and is accredited by Philhealth (Tertiary, training/teaching hospital). The leading mental health care facility in the country, NCMH provides a comprehensive range of preventive, curative and rehabilitative mental health services. It has an authorized bed capacity of 4,200 patients and a daily inpatient average of 3,000 patients. It serves an average of 56,0000 outpatients per year.
Most of NCMH's patients are from Metro Manila and nearby provinces in Region III and IV. As a national resource, NCMH also caters to patinets from other regions of the country, especially forensic cases referred by the courts of law. Treatment of about 87% of inpatients belonging to classess C and D are subsidized by NCMH.
In 1925, when the insane “Insane Department” of the San Lazaro Hospital and the City Sanitarium could no longer cope with the number of mental patients, the government decided to establish a hospital exclusively for the treatment of patients suffering of mental and nervous diseases. Under Public Works Act 3258, the sum of P180, 000.00 was set aside for an “insane asylum” to be established in accordance with a plan to be approved by a committee composed of the Secretary of Finance, the Director of Public Works; the Director of Health, and the Public Welfare Commissioner, as members with the last also acting as he Secretary of the Committee.
The committee chose a site with an area of about 64-hectare in Barrio Mauway, Mandaluyong, Rizal, an elevated piece of land that had a commanding view of the City of Manila and surrounding areas. The place is about 11 kilometers from downtown Manila. The place was then quite isolated with practically no houses around except a few huts used by farmers tilling the land around the hospital. Its location away from the community was evidently influenced by the prevailing concept at the time that hospitals from the insane should be isolated from the center of population.
On December 17, 1928, a total of 379 patients that used to crowd the Insane Department of the San Lazaro Hospital were transferred to the new hospital. That day marked the formal opening of the Insular Psychopathic Hospital, later called the National Mental Hospital. From that day on, there was an unabated increase of number of patients. When the bed capacity was increased from 800 to 1930, the actual number of patients was 836. Two large pavilions were constructed to increase bed capacity to 1,600. By the time it was ready for occupancy in 1935, the hospital had 1,646 patients. This was the year when the city of Manila closed its City Sanitarium and compounded the problem of the mental hospital with the accommodation of all the patients from the Sanitarium.