As part of World Mental Health Day and Month, mental health advocacy groups have organized events that can help keep ourselves and others be mentally healthy.
Today is World Mental Health Day. And at a time where the world is facing public health emergencies, natural disasters, and socio-economic and humanitarian crises, taking some time to recharge and re-evaluate our mental well-being comes at an opportune moment. The World Health Organization has estimated that the number of people with anxiety and depressive disorders has increased to more than 25%. Here in the Philippines, the Department of Health found that during the height of the pandemic, around 3.6 million Filipinos suffered “from any form of mental, neurological, and substance use disorders.” Add to this the global lack of access to mental health facilities and services, plus the stigma and discrimination that surround mental disorders, then we have a global crisis for mental health.
This is why the WHO has launched this year’s campaign of Making Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global Priority; inviting communities, governments, and stakeholders to deepen the value and commitment that they give to mental health. And since we’re also celebrating the Philippines’ National Mental Health Week, let’s look at some of the upcoming local events that will remind us how to keep ourselves and help others stay mentally healthy.
YOUTH FOR MENTAL HEALTH COALITION
Formed in 2016, the Youth For Mental Health Coalition, Inc. (Y4MH) is a group of youth advocates and student organizations which aims to “elevate the Filipino youth’s consciousness on mental health and end the stigma on mental illness.” This World Mental Health Day, the Y4MH will hold a virtual forum around the theme, #MindYourMind. In partnership with Araneta City, the event will be available for streaming Via Facebook live today (October 10) at 3PM. The forum’s panel includes Y4MH National Chairperson, Alyannah Lagasca, Y4MH National Adviser, Dr. Gia Sison, and Binibining Pilipinas 2nd Runner Up and advocate, Stacey Daniella Gabriel.
On October 23, 2022, Y4MH will also have its weekend celebration called Mental Health Muna: Galaw Laban sa Stigma, which includes a solidarity walk, bike ride, yoga, conversations around mental wellness and more. It sure sounds like a great time to practice mental well-being. Visit Y4MH’s Facebook page here for full details on their upcoming events.
PHILIPPINE MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION, INC.
From October 10 to October 14, the Philippine Mental Health Association, Inc. (PMHA) will celebrate National Mental Health Week with a series of webinars and activities for the public. With the theme of #EnhancingWellBeing, the topics will range from how to ensure a healthy and conducive environment for positive mental health to prioritizing our emotional well-being amid challenges. On October 12, the PMHA will also simultaneously hold special activities for its different chapters and mental health-related lectures in schools and communications. You can visit their Facebook page here to know more about their calendar and how to apply for membership.
#MentalHealthPh is a social media advocacy group that seeks to promote and protect mental health in the Philippines, and to champion safe spaces for Filipinos. What started out as a social media campaign in 2016, #MentalHealthPH has now grown to a 43,000-strong community who believes Filipinos’ mental health struggles “are very real and matter enough to be shared, discussed, and holistically addressed throughout the country.”
To celebrate the World Mental Health Month, #MentalHealthPH inspires us to #LiveKindly. From October 9 to October 30, the group will hold a slate of hybrid events from online talks to a community kitchen project. It also includes their #UsapTayo initiative which is a regular tweet-chat series about mental health happening on the 10th, 20th, and 30th of the month from 7 PM to 8 PM. Want to join help end the stigma against mental health? Visit #MentalHealthPH’s page here to see the full details.
Based in the city of San Fernando, Pampanga, Argao Psych is the largest private out-patient mental health center in Central Luzon Region with a commitment to give every Filipino the mental health care they deserve. This year, Argao Psych welcomes the Mental Health Month with an online roundtable discussion titled, “KAYAP: Healing Towards Better Days.” The roundtable panelists include psychologist and Argao Psych’s CEO, Dr. Renz Christian Argao, Occupational Medicine and Head of Makati Medical Center’s Wellness Center, Dr. Gia Sison, with guest speakers, Senator Risa Hontiveros and Tricia Zafra. Hungry for some information about the state of mental health care in the country, important psychological concepts, and the efficient ways to take care of our emotional well-being? Watch the discussion live via Zoom and Facebook livestream om October 15, 2022. Visit Argao Psych’s FB page for more information.
From October 10 to October 31, LifeRisks, a Pampanga-based non-profit youth organization, will celebrate this year’s World Mental Health Day with a four-part webinar series called, “Mental Health First Aid: An integrative perspective to support people at home, work, and school.” With a vision of a youth community that is actively engaged in discussions concerning mental health and empowered to reduce the stigma around mental health conditions, LifeRisks intends to “help interested individuals to get a walkthrough of the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) framework with an integrated focus on both clinical and positive psychology perspectives.” To know more about this urgently relevant webinar series, follow LifeRisks Instagram page and stay tuned for more announcements.
NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH SUMMIT 2022
Finally and probably the biggest event this month, the National Mental Health Summit is a two-day non-profit national advocacy event organized by Mind You Mental Health Systems (Mind You) and the Department of Health (DOH). Geared at “sounding the alarm for deteriorating mental health in the country,” the summit will be packed with exclusive masterclasses, panel discussions, mental health talks, interactive learning experiences, even wellness booths and celebrity performances from October 25 to October 26.
All proceeds from the summit will be used toward the development of the national mental health hotline infrastructure, subsidy programs for talk therapy, and community mental health initiatives for the affected communities. With speakers like CNN Philippines’ Senior Anchor Rico Hizon, multi-hyphenated artist Nadine Lustre, broadcast journalist Gretchen Ho, and more respected individuals, the National Mental Health Summit invites anyone interested in mental wellness and inspires us to #FINDHOPE. Register now through this link and avail of the early bird registration discount.