TCI’s Founder “Kuya Jun” Tan breaking the cycle of addiction
“There is hope for people living with addiction and mental health issues.” – Dionisio “Kuya Jun” Tan
Seven years ago, three brothers broke ground and established their own rehabilitation facility to help people like them who lived with addiction and mental health problems.
The Total Care Institute (TCI) in Amadeo Cavite which was founded by Dionisio Tan, Joel Chavez, and Joey Ibañez is an Internationally Department of Health (DOH) accredited one-hectare facility that has helped thousands of Filipinos who struggled with addiction and mental health concerns.
Jun Tan, who is the institution’s director, was once a drug and gambling addict. Recalling his life’s greatest challenge, “22 years ago, I was a patient. My life experiences have gotten me into that kind of addiction and eventually put me in rehab.” Tan said that in that rehabilitation center, he found his purpose again. When he sobered, he became an advocate of mental health and the next years of his life have been dedicated to helping out and serving those who are in need.
According to the Philippine WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health conducted in early 2020, 3.6 million Filipinos suffer from one kind of mental, neurological, or substance disorder. In a country where talks about mental health is a taboo topic, this is a painful reality check. There are stigma and shame associated when it comes to discussing one’s mental health that goes beyond history, hence the barrier to seeking help.
But fortunately, with the efforts of advocates like Kuya Jun, the growing awareness and acceptance of mental health issues are becoming more recognized as a medical concern. There has been an increase in public discussions and advocacy efforts aimed at raising awareness and destigmatizing the illness.
When asked how TCI addresses the challenges of their residents, Kuya Jun said that the institution’s structure for the residents’ rehabilitation must be completed in the facility and must be conducive. And because Tan ensures that the institution caters not only to those who can afford it, but also to those from different walks of life, the founders: Tan, Chavez, and Ibanez sponsor the socializing price of these residents.
“The good thing about there is when in that facility when you put all walks of life doon nakikita yung impact ng bawat buhay sa isa’t-isa especially ako, kung ganito ako dati tapos makita ko na ganito yung buhay [ko ngayon] so it gives them a meaningful way of being grateful for their lives wherever they are.” (The good thing about putting people from all walks of life in the facility is that it impacts each other’s lives, especially for me. If I was like them before, and they see that this is my life now, it gives them a meaningful way of being grateful for their lives wherever they are.”
To amplify their advocacy of helping the less fortunate, TCI is set to open another branch at Biñan, Laguna next month, in March 2023. This new institution offers a world-class facility and a good program offered at social pricing tag.
Working in the industry for half his life, kuya Jun knows that dealing with human behaviors and their issues can eventually catch up on them. But he wants his TCI family to know that working in this field together with them is fulfilling. Doing it with integrity, sincerity, and unselfishly to help the residents find their purpose in life is unparalleled by anything. He hopes that they continue the mission and the advocacy.
“It is a blessing to see your patients living their lives and having a purpose. You know that it’s not only one person but the whole family. Pag naging maayos yung pasyente, nagiging maayos yung buong pamilya (Once the patient gets well, the whole family heals too.) The fulfillment is there.”