Don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise. Taking care of yourself is productive and both Yassi Pressman and Nadine Lustre believe it, too.
(Trigger warning: This article discusses topics of suicide, depression and self-harm.)
When we get too caught up with the exhilarating race of life, we tend to forget to take the backseat, prompting us to go auto-pilot in a swirl of feelings. For Yassi Pressman, it was the passing of her father while for Nadine Lustre, it was facing the reality of her brother taking his own life. In dark times, we hold on to tiny cracks and flickers of light, no matter how small. It is human nature to hope after all. Despite the pain, these two women with equally beautiful stories have paid it forward by establishing Mind You, a mental health service company that provides accessible and affordable resources to Filipinos. The non-profit organization kicked off the National Mental Health Summit (in partnership with the Department of Health) with a Charity Gala, as well as of an expansive convention.
YASSI TURNED HER PAIN INTO PURPOSE
“Nung nawala siya parang I didn’t know who I was, how I would move forward, kung paano ko maitutuloy ‘yung ginagawa ko before for the family, because he was my purpose,” Yassi says, opening up on how the loss of her father impacted her life. The actress and entrepreneur has been the breadwinner of the family for the longest time, and often, she’d find herself preoccupied on most days. The void that she felt afterwards made her realize that she’s still human after all, and that’s okay. “It got to a point where I felt like I was having a stroke because of stress and tension from within. It [started] in my stomach, then nag-cramps ‘yung legs ko, hindi ko magalaw ‘yung fingers ko. Halos naninigas [‘yung] half of my face.”
Yassi Pressman is the first female investor who was on board for Mind You. Along with her partners and the incredible work they have done thus far, she’s also helped out in auctioning one of her close friends’ jersey at the Charity Gala last night. A signed and framed piece of NBA player Damian Lilliard, where all profits from the auctioned pieces will go to the funding of the national mental health hotline, talk therapy subsidy program, and CSR initiatives.
On trying to break the stigma within the Filipino community, Yassi believes it was and still is worth the risk. “Kung meron pong kahit konti lang na magawa ‘yung perang naipon ko, na maibalik ko naman sa ibang tao, that already means so much to me, because I am so blessed and I am so lucky na bakit ako ‘yung binigyan ng ganitong pagkakataon to work and provide.”
NADINE LUSTRE FOUND HEALING IN HELPING OTHERS
This is a woman who wears her battle scars proud. Nadine Lustre has openly talked about her struggles with anxiety and depression and it’s a conversation she doesn’t tiptoe around. “Obviously, because of what happened to my brother. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, I really wanted to push this forward, because my brother was also going through a lot of things. He didn’t know how to handle it and he was afraid,” Nadine reveals. Being a suicide loss survivor will never be easy. While should always talk about the victim, the world tends to forget about the people close to them. With the grief a lifelong process, it is with great strength that they still have to keep living their lives even after their loved ones have passed.
Her vision as one of the co-founders of Mind You? To educate people, especially the younger generation to handle issues that consume their thoughts. “I want everyone to kind of know how to maneuver or how to handle their mental stressors. It’s really different when a person is 100% okay. Imagine if we’re all functioning properly—the sky is the limit. ‘Di ba? Like we could do so much as a community, and as a person if only we could be free from all these inhibitions.”
As someone who’s also dealing with her own struggles, Nadine believes that she’s able to cope through helping others. “It’s good for the soul. But at the same time, I do understand that it’s part of your journey as a human being. We all go through it. I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t gone through it. I’m sure kids don’t, maybe not yet. That’s why sometimes I say, I wish I never grew up. But it’s inevitable.”
MIND YOU ENVISIONS MORE ACCESSIBLE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
The eye-opener that was the two-day National Mental Health Summit, which has shed more light when it comes to being kind to yourself and others, is truly an effort worth championing. The Charity Gala alone has raised 1.7 million pesos for the suicide prevention hotline and to help subsidize the costs for the marginalized communities while still being able to support Mind You’s psychologists. To exhibit the system that they intend to make accessible to the rest, masterclasses on mindfulness, as well as nutritionists and even financial advisors, were present during the summit.
While we have a long way to go, it’s the initiative of stars like Yassi Pressman and Nadine Lustre that are slowly opening up the conversation of taking care of your mind to more Filipinos. Hopefully, the hushed toned and stigma plaguing mental health will one day be a thing of the past.
But just like what they say, it is always best to take things one day at a time.