MANILA, Philippines – It’s the end of Philippine elections – which of the five stages of grief are you currently in? Whether you’re still swinging from denial to anger, or drifting between depression and acceptance, please remember that your feelings are completely valid, and that you are definitely not alone.
If you’d like to seek comfort in company, share your feelings within a safe space, and process your emotions with a mental health professional, thankfully, a handful of mental health organizations have stepped up in solidarity to help Filipinos cope, at no price. Here’s a handy list of local groups offering free/discounted online counseling sessions to help with your post-election stress and sadness.
Mental health organization MindNation believes that mental health issues “wear no political colors” and that “we all win when we take care of our minds,” so they have offered free “#HingaMuna” one-hour sessions with mental health experts starting Wednesday, May 11.
FYI: The services have been so in demand that MindNation has closed sign-ups in the meantime since all slots are taken. MindNation says to stay tuned for more announcements. They are also offering virtual sessions with their WellBeing Coaches for a discounted price of P500.
MindNation also shared a few post-election coping tips on their Instagram page:
- Do not gloat if your candidate won
- Take your time to heal and process your emotions first if your candidate lost
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself
- Set boundaries for future interactions
- Talk to a mental health professional if everything feels a bit too much
Hinga Muna by Coaches For Leni
A group of mental health professionals called “Angat Buhay Coaches For Leni” have begun a free “Hinga Muna” initiative for anyone “needing rest, getting frustrated, needing motivation, and looking for a safe space to discuss and express how you’re feeling.”
You are encouraged to come on your own or with your tropa during the live Zoom sessions happening from May 11 to May 20 at multiple time slots per day. Each session is two hours long, and will only accommodate the first 100 participants who enter the room. You can sign up via a link.
For the distressed Twitterverse, mental health org Empath PH is hosting a live discussion with mental health advocates and professionals on Twitter Spaces on Saturday, May 14 at 7 pm, called “Caring For Your Mental Health After Elections.”
The free-for-all, post-processing session is for anyone “looking for a support group or something to listen to about mental health post-elections,” or is in need of a “space to voice out their experiences and emotions over the past few days.”
Aside from that, Empath PH is also offering free Post-Elections Processing counseling sessions until next week for all adults looking for a safe space and shoulder to lean on during these “trying times.” The sessions will be held via Google Meet in groups of 8 to 10 participants. You can sign up for a time slot via this link.
Life Coach Charity Marohombsar
For those struggling with grief and an intense feeling of loss after the elections, “end-of-life doula” and grief coach Charity Marohombsar is offering a free session on grief processing on Sunday, May 15, at 8 pm via Zoom. Guests can register first via this link.
“Let’s acknowledge the big elephant in the room, the past days have been heavy, even for me. We are all GRIEVING,” she wrote. Charity, who is also a life and cancer coach, specializes in helping patients “transform their perspectives, not just to survive but to thrive.” She also believes in choosing faith over fear.
Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychological Services
Since the start of the pandemic, the Ateneo Bulatao Center has been opening sign-ups for Free Brief Psychological Services “to help take care of your mental well being,” open to all Filipinos aged 18 and above.
Each mini-session aims to provide a safe space to “alleviate distress and discuss coping strategies,” and is done over Zoom. Sign-ups are opened every Thursday through this link.
Philippine Mental Health Association
The Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) Youth Life Enrichment Program is hosting a free webinar for parents on Emotional Coaching: Teaching Adolescents How to Manage Their Emotions, which could prove useful for both the struggling parents and their anxious children. It will be held on Friday, May 20, from 9 am to 11 am via Zoom.
According to the PMHA, the session will “tackle emotional coaching” that’ll help parents learn how to support their adolescent’s well-being. Mental health professionals will guide parents on different ways to apply emotion management strategies and emotion coaching processes for children.
Admission into the Zoom room will be on a first-come, first-served basis for the first 500 participants. Registration can be done via this link. If you can’t make it into the Zoom, PMHA Youth Life Enrichment Program will be streaming the webinar on their Facebook page.