The University is promoting mental health awareness among its constituents, with the UP chapter of the Philippine Association of University Women (PAUW-UP), the Padayon Public Service Office of the UP System Administration, and the University Student Council (USC) of UP Diliman co-organizing a #youwillbealright forum on April 11, 2018 in Malcolm Theater, College of Law, UP Diliman.
Atty. Gabriela Roldan-Concepcion, PAUW-UP president, said that the time has come for mental health awareness in the University. “This forum aims to create a sense of community in so far as mental health awareness is concerned. . . . I’m sure we all have a friend or a family member who is suffering from one form of mental illness or another. We have heard of some things that could have been prevented merely by being aware.”
The forum, featuring mental health advocates from in and outside the University, highlighted the need to institutionalize systems to acknowledge and assist people dealing with mental health issues, whom the speakers said are not at fault for their conditions and whom the doctor among them described as saddled with a disability.
Dr. Sylvia Estrada-Claudio of the UP College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD) described symptoms of disorders, enumerated the steps taken by her and her college to address mental health concerns in the community, and appealed for more support for such programs. Dhan de Leon, founding president of COPE-UP, and TJ Manotoc, a broadcast journalist, narrated their journey from being patients of clinical depression to mental health advocates and recommended ways to deal with mental health issues based on their experiences.
The forum, subtitled “A Discussion on Building Resilience and Nurturing Hope”, also featured a presentation on University offices and organizations with mental health initiatives. The forum was co-organized by the Padayon Public Service Office as part of its advocacy on emotional resilience. The office will hold the “Summit on Transforming UP into a Healthy and Nurturing University” on April 19 and 20, 2018 at the UP Professional Schools-Bonifacio Global City. The first such summit, to include UP’s eight chancellors, it will constitute a technical working group to work on a framework and action plan for System-wide initiatives to address mental health and psychosocial issues in the University.
The psychosocial initiatives of UP Diliman’s CSWCD, College of Law, Department of Psychology, Office of Counseling and Guidance, Office of Anti-Sexual Harassment, Gender Office, and Health Service; and student organizations such as the USC, the UP Psychology Society, and COPE-UP were also enumerated in the #youwillbealright forum. (Jo Lontoc, UP MPRO)