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Mental Health and Wellness in 6th Episode of “Stories for a Better Normal” Series

June 24, 2020

For the sixth episode of the online discussion series “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with resource experts, will tackle mental health and underscore the importance of mental wellness as we cope in this time of COVID-19 and disasters.

The episode will air this Thursday, June 25, 10:00 am, via Facebook Live at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda or facebook.com/CCCPhl.

With the alarming spread of COVID-19 and the sudden stringent health and safety measures being implemented across the country to contain the spread of virus, people have been reported to be suffering from anxiety, stress, and even depression.

According to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted in May, nine out of ten Filipinos are stressed due to the pandemic. Of those who experienced great stress, at least 4.2 million families experienced involuntary hunger due to lack of food to eat. Moreover, those who said the pandemic brought great stress are those who have jobs but were not receiving compensation and those who were laid off their jobs.

Furthermore, several studies show that exposure to calamities and disasters, whether as a survivor or as frontliner providing assistance, can lead to a variety of mental health consequences such as development of post-traumatic stress disorder and psychological impairment.

Legarda, who co-authored the Mental Health Act while she was at the Senate, will be joined by the former president of the Philippine Psychiatric Association, Dr. Rene Samaniego; National Professional Officer on Mental Health of the World Health Organization – Philippines, Dr. Jasmine Vergara; and Psychosocial Support Focal of the Philippine Red Cross, Mr. Prednison Morales, RSW.

The resource speakers will discuss the mental health challenges of COVID-19, the ways to cope with stress and to look after the mental health and well-being of the most vulnerable, and support being offered by various organizations to those who are dealing with heightened anxieties during disasters.

As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities to le