“There is no health without mental health.”
This was underscored by Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) member, Dr. Bernardino A. Vicente, at the fourth TAYO Naman! (Tulong, Alaga, Yakap at Oras para sa mga Tagapagtaguyod ng Edukasyon) session titled “Understanding and Managing Common Mental Disorders and other Psychological Concerns.” This webinar series is organized by Globe and the Department of Education (DepEd).
While people are busy taking care of their physical health to avoid contracting the virus, Dr. Vicente said that many Filipinos suffer from mental health problems, resulting in about a 25.7 percent surge in the country’s suicide incidence in 2020.
“Mental disorders are not uncommon. It’s like 'yung physical illness natin. COVID-19 does not only cause physical health concerns but also psychological disorders. The pandemic is really stressful to almost everyone and is actually the reason why there is an increase in depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders, including suicide,” he said.
Thus, he reiterated the World Health Organization (WHO)'s statement that mental health and physical health are two inseparable things that one must care about for their own well-being.
Dr. Vicente likewise explained that positive mental health promotes a longer life, slows the aging process, and helps provide a better prognosis when illness strikes. Thus, productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, the ability to adapt to change, and cope with adversities are vital in keeping a healthy mind.
Stress from the current situation is also a challenge for educators, students, and their parents who have to cope with online learning and new ways of doing things. Time management, physical activities, relaxation training, continued social support and communication, and proper diet and nutrition are some recommended methods to help ease stress. Having a list of activities or memories that make one happy, and seven to eight hours of sleep are also handy in managing stress and achieving good mental health.
“In stress management, you cannot manage something that you do not know. So 90 percent of stress management relies on becoming aware of what stresses you. Generally, it may come from you, from your family, or from work. It is not the number of stressors you have, it is the way you carry them,” he added
Another key to prevent or solve mental disorders, aside from medical intervention and a healthy lifestyle, is to understand its concept. Dr. Vicente said to watch out for abnormal psychological and behavioral manifestations with associations of distress and dysfunction, that are recurrent or carried over a sustained period.
Dr. Vicente also underscored that, aside from medical intervention and a healthy lifestyle, an important key to prevent or manage mental disorders is to understand their nature and symptoms. He emphasized the need to watch out for red flags of psychological and behavioral manifestations associated with distress and dysfunction that are recurrent or carried over a sustained period to be able to diagnose if a person has a mental disorder.
The session also included panelists from DepEd Zamboanga del Norte Division, which was the week’s host. They are Education Program Supervisor Arcelita Zamoras, Medical Officer III Dr. Cheryl Ocupe, and Project Development Officer II Eunice Janolino.
TAYO Naman! is an online Mental Health and Psychosocial Support program designed to help teachers, non-teaching personnel, and parents learn about self-care, wellness, and resiliency.
The 14-part webinar series is led by the DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction Management Services (DepEd-DRRMS) and the Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development-Employee Welfare Division (BHROD-EWD) in collaboration with Globe’s Global Filipino Teachers Series on Psychosocial Support Services, Philippine Mental Health Association, and MAGIS Creative Spaces.
The fifth episode on June 18 will be about “Examining my inner struggles amid the pandemic” to be hosted by the School Division Office of Negros Occidental.
The webinars are held every Friday until August 20, 2021, from 8:30 to 10:00 am and streamed live on DepED Philippines, Deped DRRMS, and Globe Bridgecom.
Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such as UN SGD No. 3 on good health and well-being and UN SDG No. 4 on inclusive and equitable quality education for all. The company is also committed to helping realize the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles.
To learn more about how to create a #GlobeofGood, visit www.globe.com.ph/about-us/sustainability.html.