Around 200 individuals participate in the mental health advocacy campaign led by the Philippine Mental Health Association- Palawan Chapter held at Western Philippines University (WPU) Puerto Princesa Campus.

The Philippine Mental Health Association Inc. (PMHAI) Palawan Chapter held a mental health advocacy campaign at Western Philippines University (WPU) Puerto Princesa campus, Friday.

Devie May Navarro, the program coordinator and project officer of PMHAI in Palawan said this discussion is to give light and educate the public most especially the students on the importance of mental health.

“It is a form of outreach namin to schools initially. Though ang PMHAI Palawan Chapter ay may mga previous na din na activities like consultations and lectures. Plano talaga namin is to promote mental health through education information services,” Navarro said.

Navarro said the activity also targets to further disseminate the Philippine Mental Health Law or the Republic Act (RA) 11036.

Rosario Bundal, WPU College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Dean and secretary of PMHAI Palawan Chapter said that they are planning to have an education caravan about mental wellness and educate more students all over the province.

“Sa Filipino setting parang talagang hindi natin pinag-uusapan ang mga cases ng suicide or anything na may kinalaman sa mental health issues. Sabi nga it is a basic human right na pangarap ng ating administration na lahat ng Pilipino maka-access ng services na usapin sa Philipine Mental Health condition,” Bundal said.

Katelyn Anoza, a 21-year-old student in WPU taking Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) said the discussions given to them will help her in understanding his future clients.

Anoza said this awareness will also help her personally in dealing with her own mental health.

“Actually malaking tulong po siya kasi somehow naa-assess ko rin ang sarili ko na baka nasa edge na ako, nasa borderline na ako, pero so far naman po luckily wala pa naman. Malaking tulong po [ito] para alam namin or magkaroon din kami ng limitation and boundaries na hanggang dito lang kami, na ito lang ‘yong mga bagay na pina-priorotiza dapat namin kaysa sa iba,” Anoza said.

Anoza added she learned how important it is for a person to take charge of his own mental health.

PMHAI is in close partnership with WPU, Provincial Government, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), and City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD), and the Provincial Human Rights Education Center (PHREC).

Navarro said PHMAI is non-government and non-profit organization. She said their chapter in the province started in 2017, but was only formally launched during the activity on Friday.