This is a press release from the UP Mental Health Month Team
Mental health is a state of well-being that isn’t just relevant on the individual level. Recent times have emphasized the importance of a collective approach in discussing and addressing mental health concerns. (READ: Filipinos face the mental toll of the COVID-19 pandemic)
According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Mental Health Day statement, “World Mental Health Day is about more than advocacy. It also provides an opportunity to empower people to look after their mental health and provide support to others.”
To help address the persistent obstacles brought about by the pandemic, the UP Mental Health Month 2021 Team (UP MHM 2021) took on the challenge of leading a more holistic, inclusive, and impactful mental health celebration that extends well beyond the UP Diliman community.
UP MHM team is composed of members from five UP Diliman student organizations: University Student Council, UP Buklod-Isip, UP Psychology Society, UP PUGAD Sayk, BUKLOD CSSP, and COPE UP. They aim to bring different sectors together in conversations about advancing mental health from the smallest, individual scale to the largest societal stage.
Through its accessible online initiatives and free workshops and discussions in October, participants and viewers had the opportunity to learn more about mental health and its different aspects following the themes of self, others, community, and society. Renowned mentors and experts have shared their experiences and insights on mental health’s intersectionalities at the individual level as well as on the larger structures that shape them.
The theme on “self” focused on the importance of self-care in our daily lives through Unang Hakbang, a five-part comic series and mini self-care workshops on beverage-making, journalling, and physical activities. Meanwhile, the theme on “Others” involved sharing skills on how to become a better friend to others through graphic series, video projects, and culminating workshops.
To expand the scope of the celebration, UP MHM focused on the theme of “Community” on the third week of October. Tayó Táyo, a public database to help make mental health services more accessible to everyone across the country, was also released.
The role of mental health in the different sectors of our communities was also highlighted through Kwentayo, a media series collection of stories, as well as through PerspekTipon, a round table discussion about the intersectional nature of mental health.
UP MHM 2021 also encouraged everyone to view mental health as a collective effort with the final week focusing on the theme, “Society.”
As the election period nears, a Sikolohiyang Pilipino perspective on who we should vote for was examined in the “#Halalan2022: What Makes a Good Candidate” poster.
It also featured a roundtable discussion dubbed “Gaano Kalayo na ang Narating? on Saturday, October 30, to talk about the Philippine Mental Health Law.
The program concluded with its final project “Manong Para!,” a culminating video that served as a synthesis for the month-long celebration.
UP MHM 2021 is focused on bringing mental health to different levels, advocating for a more holistic approach to the discourse.
“In this time of uncertainty, it is high time to recognize mental health as essential to physical health. Even after the celebration, let us remain rooted together in what is important: within ourselves, within each other, within our communities, and within our society,” they said.