Promoting overall health in a pandemic period
Senator Risa Hontiveros, author of the Mental Health Law, leads the next line-up of speakers for the Better Today Conversations—the storytelling series on mental wellness of PLDT and wireless unit, Smart.
The third installment of the series of talks by changemakers, the session will be streamed on Facebook via the Better Today PH community platform on October 23.
Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Kim Jong-ki joins Hontiveros as one of the speakers for the community session on mental health. Kim established the Foundation for Preventing Youth Violence (FPYV), which is the first organized effort in South Korea to address school violence as a systematic social problem affecting students, families, schools and community-at-large. He also founded The Blue Tree Foundation, which is a youth non-governmental organization that has been granted a special consultation status by the United Nations. This year, The Blue Tree Foundation has partnered with Samsung to launch a juvenile cyberbullying prevention education program called, “Blue Elephant”.
Youth advocacy group Silakbo PH Founder and President Rissa Coronel is taking part in the conversation as she shares the story of her organization. Silakbo is a Filipino word, which means “an outburst of emotions that demands to be felt”. Silakbo PH aims to uplift stories in the context of mental health awareness. As art allows for catharsis, Silakbo PH uses this platform as an outlet to express people’s stories – whether it is through songs, poetry or essays. Through this, Silakbo PH aims to destigmatize and shed light upon the importance of mental health.
Linya-Linya Creative Director Ali Sangalang is part of PLDT and Smart’s Better Today Conversations session. Linya-Linya is an idea factory of puns, illustrations and relatable content that reflect the feelings of today’s Filipinos. It aims to connect to a wider range of audience, share tears of joy and laughter with fellow Filipinos, and eventually contribute to Filipino culture and society. Sangalang will talk about the importance of a community that fosters a sense of belongingness through shared ordinary experiences of Filipinos.
Strengthening mental resilience
Last October 16, superstar athletes Alyssa Valdez, Kiefer Ravena and e-sports athlete Haze from the PLDT-Smart Omega Team shared their stories on how they continue to rise above life’s challenges, especially during such an uncertain time.
“Always remember that it’s okay to not be okay. Don’t be afraid to ask help from your friends or family. Remember, struggling to be mentally healthy is not a sign of weakness. It’s just a reminder that we are human beings,” Valdez said.
Meanwhile, Haze shared how focusing on what is essential enables a person to protect one’s positive energy, especially when it comes to dealing with emotions. “Importante sa ‘kin ‘yung mental health kasi doon nag-uumpisa ang gaming: sa pag-iisip. Dito sa e-sports industry, importante ‘yung mag-isip ka every game. ‘Di ka dapat ma-i-stress every game, after game, tsaka during the game. In times na na-i-stress ako, ang ginagawa ko, nag-bi-breathing exercise ako kasi tinuro rin sa amin kung paano ma control ‘yung emotion. (Mental health is important to me because that’s where gaming starts: through thinking. In the e-sports industry, it is important to think well every game. We shouldn’t be stressed every game, after the game, or even during the game. Whenever I get stressed, I do breathing exercises, which were taught to us. It’s a way to control our emotions.),” Haze said.
“Each and every one of us deals with different challenges. Just being able to learn from them and be better from them every day, exercise our mental health to be stronger. It won’t be easy, but certain experiences, as they say, are the greatest teacher,” Ravena said.
For more updates on Better Today PH community conversations on changemaking, and on Better Today Conversations, follow Better Today PH on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @bettertodayph.