SPU Manila Mental Health Awareness Forum

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Contributed by Ms. Girlie Guiuan

Date: November 26, 2018Posted by: Marionette Martinez

One of SPU Manila’s mental health awareness activities is the Mental Health Awareness Forum, held on November 12, 2018 from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon in the Founders Hall. The invited speakers were Dr. Shiela Marie “Shake” Guevarra-Hocson, immediate past President of the Philippine Guidance and Counseling Association and Guidance Director of FEU Manila-Guidance and Counselling Office, and Dr. Raymond “RJ” Naguit, National Chairperson of Youth for Mental Health Coalition and a practicing medical doctor from UST. To further enrich the forum, the invited sharers were Mr. Melvin Macuha, RPsy, an alumnus and faculty member of SPU Manila, who shared his thesis paper and experiences on Suicide Ideation, and Ms. Nica Dominique Ondoy, an alumna and now office staff in the Student Development and Welfare Office, who shared her experiences in battling depression.

The whole SPU Manila was invited, particularly the academic community, to attend the forum. Various topics were covered in the forum, particularly initial assessment of Mental Health Disturbances and Problems, what to do when these signs and symptoms are observed, as well as where to go when a report has to be made.

Borrowing the words of Michelle Obama from The Blog: Let’s Change the Conversation around Mental Health (2016), she stated, “Sadly, too often, the stigma around mental health prevents people who need help from seeking it. But that simply doesn’t make any sense. Whether an illness affects your heart, your arm, or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there shouldn’t be any distinction. We would never tell someone with a broken leg that they should stop wallowing and get it together. We don’t consider taking medication for an ear infection something to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t treat mental health conditions any differently. Instead, we should make it clear that getting help isn’t a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of strength—and we should ensure that people can get the treatment they need.”

This Mental Health Awareness forum is but the start of many others to come with the help and support of the school administrators.