PLDT and Smart scale up their mental health initiatives online, linking up with more advocacy groups, organizations, and local government units (LGUs).
Through the Group’s collaborative platform Better Today, long-time mental health advocate Alyannah Lagasca joined Smart’s #CyberSmart Cyber Security Beyond Digital event, which aimed to educate students and teachers on how to protect themselves in the digital space.
As National Chairperson of the Youth for Mental Health Coalition (Y4MH). Lagasca shared how it is important to drive conversations on mental health awareness in order to break the stigma.
“Remember to reach out for help when you need to. Don’t be afraid to seek professional mental health care. Recognizing that we need help is a form of strength because we acknowledge that there are things that we need to improve on. With this, we can come up with ways to fix our problems and be better,” Lagasca said.
Lagasca underscored the multi-sectoral approach when it comes to mental health. This includes the three important aspects of self-society-system. According to Alyannah, it is important to take care of ourselves in order to reach our goals, be better versions of ourselves and to show kindness towards other people. When it comes to the society and system, our social interactions and institutionalized policies have an impact in strengthening our mental well-being.
Meanwhile, parent and advocate Joy Ortega co-developed a mental health program with PLDT and Smart called, “Kamusta Ka, eLyU?”: Better Today Conversations on Mental Health Awareness. The pilot episode of the monthly conversations series was streamed last September 28. Speakers included mental health professionals Prixies Sambrano, a registered psychometrician from the Provincial Health Office of La Union, Dr. Kathryn Tan from the National Center for Mental Health, and singer-songwriter and fellow advocate Claudia Barretto.
The next “Kamusta Ka, eLyU?” episode will focus on “Resilience”, which talks about overcoming adversities, mental struggles and distress, especially amid the pandemic.
PLDT and Smart seek to uplift and improve the overall physical and mental wellness of Filipinos through initiatives that also ensure food security, improve nutrition, and create awareness online. These initiatives emphasize the commitment of PLDT and Smart to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG #3: Good Health and Well-Being.