UP Para Sa UP: The UP System kicks off Mental Health Awareness Month with launching of the UP Sanctuary

| Written by UP Media and Public Relations Office

University of the Philippines (UP) President Angelo Jimenez, together with the UP Office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs – Office Student Development Services (OSDS) and the UP Portia Sorority, are set to launch the UP Sanctuary in the UP Diliman campus on October 6, 2023, at 4:00 in the afternoon.

This inspiring initiative coincides with the celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month this October, underscoring the commitment of the University to the holistic wellbeing of its community.

Located in front of the Faculty Center, the UP Sanctuary will offer students and faculty members a convenient retreat to rejuvenate their minds amidst the hustle and bustle of academic life.

An artist rendition of the proposed green space. Graphic provided by UP Portia Sorority.

It has been meticulously designed as a dedicated space where one can find solace and tranquility during periods of heightened psychological stress, providing a safe refuge for all members of the UP community, especially the students, faculty, and staff.

Under the visionary leadership of President Jimenez and the University’s strengthened focus on public service, this project will serve as a tangible testament to UP’s dedication to advancing mental health awareness and support on campus.

The concept of the UP Sanctuary originally emerged from the creative minds of the members of the UP Portia Sorority, a UP College of Law-based sorority that counts among its illustrious members former Supreme Court Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, former Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales and former Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. The Sorority has a strong focus on law and a deep commitment to serve not just the UP community but the public as well.

Leading the planning and execution of this project, the UP Portia Sorority and its partners will engage the entire UP community in its development journey. Notably, Architect Micaela Benedicto, an alumna of the UP College of Architecture, contributed her expertise by crafting the initial architectural designs.

Another view of the artist’s rendition of the proposed sanctuary. Photo from UP Portia Sorority.

The launching of the UP Sanctuary marks the commencement of a month-long series of activities and initiatives aimed at enhancing the welfare of the UP community, with the entire month of October dedicated to fostering a culture of well-being within the UP community.

The inaugural UP System Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference, a multi-sectoral event led by the OSDS, will take place at UP Los Baños on October 11th and 12th, 2023. A webinar on Emotional and Mental Resilience will also be held via Zoom on October 18, while the OSDS will also launch its Alumni Mentoring Program in partnership with the UP Alumni Association of San Francisco (UPAA SF) on October 26.

In addition to these flagship initiatives, various UP constituent universities (CUs) have organized a diverse range of events throughout the month, all aimed at promoting the collective well-being of the University community.

The UP Sanctuary stands as a symbol of UP’s commitment to the mental health and overall wellness of its community members. As UP opens its arms to this innovative project, it paves the way for a brighter, more resilient, and healthier future for everyone inside the campus.