Some 549 students and youth advocates convened in Puerto Princesa City Coliseum on Friday for the first-ever Youth Congress focusing on mental health awareness and resiliency.
City Youth Development Office (CYDO), in partnership with Palawan State University (PSU) and Western Command (WESCOM), spearheaded the Youth Congress 2019 with the aim of promoting mental health in light of the recent suicide incidents in the city.
CYDO officer Jemarjo “Arjo” Escalona said that the alarming increase of such events prompted their office to host the “timely and relevant” convention.
“Maraming kabataan ang naririnig nating nagsu-suicide or attempted to commit suicide and we want to help address this issue ngayon pang meron na tayong Mental Health Bill sa Pilipinas. Nakakalungkot na maraming buhay yung nasasayang especially yung youth kasi sila yung pinaka-vulnerable,” Escalona said.
Escalona expressed dismay on the lack of mental health facilities in the country citing only two from Mandaluyong and Davao.
“Habang wala pa tayong facility, gusto natin na may magawa tayo kahit papano. Bagamat kulang, inuunahan na natin through prevention,” Escalona said.
Senior high school and college students, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials, youth volunteers, barangay health workers, registered psychometricians, professors, government officials, and other advocates attended the plenary sessions with topics that include mental health issues and challenges; managing interpersonal relations; stress management; and building mental resiliency.