In this pandemic, mental health (MH) advocates play a crucial role in creating a nurturing community in the University of the Philippines (UP). MH advocates are UP faculty members, Student Affairs personnel, and students who can champion MH promotion in the different teaching-learning environments. Together with MH professionals, MH advocates comprise the University’s Mental Health and Wellness Network that can respond to the MH concerns and coping needs of UP students.
To strengthen this network, the UP Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Office of Student Financial Assistance (OVPAA-OSFA) is once again organizing the Sandigan, Sandalan: Training and Advocacy Programs for Mental Health for the month of June. Training sessions have been scheduled on June 7, 14, 21 and 28.
One of the components of the Sandigan, Sandalan is the Peer Support Training on Mental Health Promotion for UP students. Student MH advocates or kaSandalan are nominated members of student councils, student organizations, and student groups who can champion MH care among their peers.
To be effective advocates, kaSandalan should be aware of the importance of MH promotion and actions to create a nurturing environment with their peers. The Peer Support Training is an online program on MH promotion and community forums where participants can interact with other advocates and invited MH experts. The program covers: (1) general mental health information; (2) ways on how students can help their peers; (3) promotion of safe and resilient school environments; and, (4) participation in MH advocacy in the University.
The training team is led by Dan Paolo Yema (College of Arts and Sciences, UP Los Baños) and Maria Rowena Beatriz Inzon (Office of Student Activities, UP Los Baños). The program resource persons include: Dr. Rowalt Alibudbud (College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University); Dr. Victoria Patricia De La Llana (College of Medicine, UP Manila); Dr. Raymond John Naguit (Youth for Mental Health Coalition); Eleanor Caballo, RGC (College of Arts and Science, UP Manila); and, Dr. Blesile Mantaring (Office of Student Affairs, UP Manila).
The Sandigan, Sandalan program started on 31 May 2021.
For inquiries, please contact the OVPAA-OSFA at firstname.lastname@example.org.