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Mental health advocates raise awareness in forum

In a forum held at the 4th floor of Bellarmine hall, advocates gave talks to raise awareness on mental health last Wednesday, March 14.

The forum, organized by Third year Mass Communication students, centered its theme around Ripple 2018: Keeping our heads above the water.

One of the speakers was Daniza Dianne Molina, a Licensed Psychometrician and Member of Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP).

She stated that nearly one million people commit suicide every year and four of the six leading causes of years lived with disability are due to neuropsychiatric disorders which include depression.

A depressed person was defined as someone who indulges in self-defeating behaviors and/or is at a loss of capacity for joy. Furthermore, people who suffer from mental illnesses were said to be victims of human rights violations, stigma, and discrimination.

“The stigma is very scary because it prohibits a person from getting help,” Molina said.

She added that family history and major life changes are possible causes of depression. Symptoms may include loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, trouble sleeping, poor memory, and suicidal thoughts.

Lawrence Diligero of Youth for Mental Coalition also discussed how social media plays a huge part in depression.

According to him, the obsession to appear perfect in social platforms causes depression when this fixation is not met.

“Sometimes we need to disconnect to reconnect,” he expressed.

The speaker added that in this modern day, people want to acquire things in an instant.

“We try to get respect by posting on social media that we forget how it is actually earned,” he said.

Diligero shared that there is a need to give mental health proper attention in the Philippines as the organizations for this advocacy are under equipped and underfunded.

Mental health was also said to be poorly understood in the country.

“Just because it is not fully understood does not mean it’s false. It is here. Mental health involves everyone, even the poor, victims of war, and those starving on the streets,” Diligero stated.

 

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