LOOK: These Pinoy celebs are helping to end stigma over mental health issues
MANILA, Philippines – October 10 is World Mental Health Day, an important thing to remember especially since the fight against mental health stigma in the Philippines continues.
Despite the strides society has taken so far – more people opening up about their own personal struggles, celebrities vocally expressing their own mental health challenges, and the signing of the Philippines' first Mental Health Law – it can be said that we've come a long way in advocating for mental health awareness.
Part of ending the mental health stigma is to start talking about it. With celebrities' influential voices, it is encouraging to see them use their powerful platforms as a channel for honest, open, and real discussions on real problems with their fans.
Who are some of these celebrities?
Kylie Verzosa, Binibining Pilipinas International 2016 and Miss International 2016, has openly shared her previous struggles with depression. Now, Kylie is committed to sharing her mental health advocacy to the public, in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Miss International 2016, actress and mental health advocate @KylieVerzosa shares her experience with #depression and her recovery journey.— World Health Organization Philippines (@WHOPhilippines) October 10, 2018
Learn more about adolescent mental health as we observe #WorldMentalHealthDay https://t.co/X4wyUgKWOw pic.twitter.com/rgsynuu0fy
After being at the forefront of online trolls and bullies, Ylona Garcia took to Twitter to share the emotional stress these hateful comments took a toll on her, urging her followers to learn from her struggles by looking after their own mental health.
“I’m Isabelle Daza, I'm a a social media influencer, and I’m here today because I want to remove the stigma that mental illness is something to be ashamed about.” With that powerful quote during the #LetsTalkLetsListen forum, Daza openly shared her own experiences with the dangers of social media and how it had affected her own mental health. She also made it a point to emphasize that "it's okay to not be okay".
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So I’m kinda shy or scared to post this cause I don’t look my best but thats not the point. I’m sharing this very personal, emotional talk because I want to stand up against the stigma that Mental illness is something we should be ashamed about. Also talking about how social media can play a role in developing anxiety and depression. The full version is up on my IGTV. #LetsTalkLetsListen
"If you're going through something, don't be afraid to let people in. Let your loved ones love you," Kiana Valenciano said in an Instagram post, explaining the reasons behind her new tattoo, including a tell-all of her experiences with depression and anxiety.
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Saved. Last night someone asked me what the tattoo on my neck means and why I got it. 2016 was a really heavy year for me. I was dealing with anxiety and depression and reached the point where I didn’t even notice I was hurting myself physically. It wasn’t until a friend pointed out that I had scratches and scars across the back of my neck that I realised I was lost and needed help. 2 years later, with the combined help of God, my family, amazing friends, and Sam, I’m able to deal with my anxiety in a healthier way. No more scratches! Just a reminder that I’m saved. If you’re going through something, don’t be afraid to let people in. Let your loved ones love you
After Eat Bulaga co-host Joey De Leon said depression was just "made up" by those suffering from it, Maine Mendoza took a brave stand on live television and defended those suffering from the mental illness. “Pero hindi biro ‘yun, ah, ‘yung depression” (Depression is not a joke), she said. "Siyempre, maraming nakakaranas ng ganun, lalo na sa mga kabataan. Kaya dapat, kapag may nakakaranas ng ganun, bigyan natin ng suporta.” (A lot of people have experienced it, especially today's youth. That's why it's important to offer our support to them.)
She is also very open with her fans online, sharing her thoughts and feelings on Twitter.
I got myself, I will catch myself, and I will pick myself up pic.twitter.com/VoU5kFuReQ— Maine Mendoza (@mainedcm) November 26, 2017
After the death of her brother in 2017, Nadine Lustre took to Instagram to allow her fans to be a part of the ups and downs of her healing journey, as well encouraging others to continue fighting the good fight against their own internal struggles.
On her Instagram post she wrote: "It may come as a surprise to you but I have struggled with depression way back and still am to this day. I have days where Im just sitting in the tub, asking myself a lot of questions, confused.. I felt like I was just looking in someone else's life through a window. Feeling bad cuz I am not enough and everything that I do and will do will never be enough. It's not easy. I have days when I have to put a mask on, smiling, numbing myself from negative emotions, too often I have already mastered the art of hiding it, I bet, you never even noticed it."
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It may come as a surprise to you but I have struggled with depression way back and still am to this day. I have days where Im just sitting in the tub, asking myself a lot of questions, confused.. I felt like I was just looking in someone else's life through a window. Feeling bad cuz I am not enough and everything that I do and will do will never be enough. Its not easy. I have days when I have to put a mask on, smiling, numbing myself from negative emotions, too often I have already mastered the art of hiding it, I bet, you never even noticed it. Im thankful that Im blessed to have a strong heart and clear mind. Family who will always be my strength. Friends who will always pull me up. Love who will always guide me. if you ever hit rock bottom, dont be ashamed of opening up to your loved ones. if anyone understands and cares about what you're going through, its them. You are who/what you say you are. If you think you're weak, you will be weak. If you tell yourself you are not worthy, you will be unworthy. But, if you say you're strong, you will be strong and If you tell yourself you can do it, you can do anything. The ONLY validation that you will ever need is one from yourself. If you're HEARTBROKEN, cry it out, okay.. and then STOP. Pick yourself up and dust it off. He/She ain't the last person on earth. Trust me when I tell you that you will find someone else... meant for you and who will better you. I didn't believe that before either, but here I am now. DONT EVEN think about hurting yourself or taking your life just because you want the pain and sadness to stop. ITS OKAY to be sad. ITS OKAY to feel pain. ITS OKAY to be vulnerable. We are made to have emotions. Dont be afraid to let it out. Before you do something you will regret, think about all the great things that you can do in the future, people you will meet and places you travel to, the lives you will touch. I almost did it before and Im so thankful that I didn't do it, because If I did, I wouldn't be living the life that I have now. Stay with us because life is beautiful. #KeepGoing ;
"If you ever hit rock bottom, dont be ashamed of opening up to your loved ones. If anyone understands and cares about what you're going through, it's them. You are who/what you say you are.
If you think you're weak, you will be weak. If you tell yourself you are not worthy, you will be unworthy.
But, if you say you're strong, you will be strong and if you tell yourself you can do it, you can do anything. The ONLY validation that you will ever need is one from yourself."
She also took the time to personally respond to a fan who sent her a DM about mental health struggles.
Who are your other celebrity idols who've spoken about mental health awareness? -Rappler.com