Mental Health is a taboo in Filipino culture because Pinoys don’t like to lose face in their social circle and be branded as “eng eng” or “baliw” or other derogatory terms. But did you know that there has been 10+ suicides in the island of Boracay ever since the pandemic started? Did you know there are kids who are attempting to commit suicide in Manila because of pressure from their parents for them to do well in online distance learning? More and more people are experiencing depression and anxiety, but they don’t want to acknowledge their mental health issues.
Thanks to Zarah Hernaez of The Wellnest PH and our BCBP Alabang members, Basti Lacson, Jeff Tagle and host KC Frayco. Watch the complete show here: 🔴 Mental Wellness begins with Honesty .
Here are my notes on 8 Mental Health Awareness Tips & First Aid:
About The Wellnest PH
THE WELLNEST PH is a mental health advocacy dedicated to creating a safe space and giving assistance to those going through mental health concerns in the Philippines. It focuses on mental health awareness and wellness solutions. Its vision is to bring mental health and wellness to the greater population and nurture Filipinos so that they will live with more clarity, happiness and love for the Philippines.
The Wellnest PH does talks and one-on-one mental wellness coaching sessions for organizations and individuals. As this is a personal advocacy, they don’t charge a fee. Donations of any amount from individuals and companies go to underprivileged individuals who need therapy and medical intervention and medication for their mental health illnesses.
For more information about The Wellnest PH:
Facebook: The Wellnest PH
10 Mental Health Awareness Tips & First Aid
- Sincere Kamusta?
Create a list of people you care about, reach out consistently and say Kamusta sincerely. Simply be a friend first and don’t overthink it. Ask genuinely, “How are you coping up with the pandemic?” One out of four of your friends and family have anxiety and depression which increased 3x during the pandemic.
- Don’t Trivialize and Say Kulang Ka Lang sa Dasal
Be empathetic with pleas of help from your friends who say: “I’m tried” and “Ayoko na, di ko na kaya.” Don’t assume. Other symptoms to watch out for include fogginess, indecisiveness, difficulty breathing, tummy aches and tiredness. People experiencing depression or anxiety hate it when you comment, “Baka kulang ka lang sa dasal.”
- Pay attention to the Men in your Life
Women have more suicide attempts, but more men aged 29-45 who are high flyers or up-and-coming performers die from suicide. Men usually don’t open up; they keep their troubles inside and have more tendency to end it all when they cannot handle the pressure.
- Don’t Give Advice during Drinking Sessions
The brain doesn’t distinguish between good or bad, but most of the time it only remembers the bad. So if you have bad comments said in jest while drinking, the person will only remember the bad things you said when he is sober the next day.
- Turn-off your Cellphone an Hour before Sleeping
Pay attention to the physiological effects of your mental health. Use your heart rate variability with the help of wearables to understand the real time impact of your mental health issues to your body. Alcohol has a worse effect on your heart rate but exercise, meditation and breathing improve it. Don’t sleep with your mobile phone on.
- Join a Community for Support
Be vulnerable, but stay strong. Joining a Christian Community like Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals lets you have a safe space to be vulnerable and get prayer warrior support. Regular praise worship, formation programs and action group meetings can support your mental health during the pandemic.
- Talk about your Brain Health Casually
We have a tendency to associate mental issues with emotional distress. Mental health is all about brain health. It is just like any disease, like diabetes, that is caused by your genetic disposition, bio-chemical imbalance and environmental stress factors. Talk about it casually like any other disease to remove the stigma and awkwardness.
- Press PLAY before becoming a Monster Parent or Spouse
P-ause before you react to the stimulus of your anger.
L-earn how to be more productive (and not destructive) with your thoughts and actions.
A-llow yourself to feel the emotions—talk and acknowledge it but don’t express it.
Y-ou are important and accountable to yourself and your kids who will mimic your action today with their own kids in the future.
As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s be more proactive when it comes to reaching out to our immediate family and friends who need our help before it is too late.
Thank you to Zarah Hernaez of The Wellnest PH and our brothers and sisters in BCBP Alabang—Jeff Tagle, Basti Lacson and KC Frayco—for the awesome episode to end season 1 of Be Honest Go LIVE Show. Watch the rest of the episodes here: Be Honest Show.
If you have any tips, please let us know in the comments section. Please forward this to your family and friends to save someone’s life today.
Live an Awesome Life with Christ,
Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: Thanks to Nikkei Team for the experience. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.