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Mental health and wellness in the new normal in 48th episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ Series

June 8, 2021

MANILA, 8 June 2021 — Guests from the Department of Education (DepEd) will gather to raise awareness and advocate for mental health and wellness, to protect and promote the well-being of learners and personnel in times of pandemic on the 48th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with the topic, “TAYO Laban Sa Pandemya: Tulong. Alaga. Yakap. Oras.” The episode title is adapted from one of DepEd’s mental health wellness programs.

The online conversation, conceptualized and hosted by three-term former Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 10 June 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/CCCPhl and facebook.com/iamlorenlegarda. The episode will also be streamed through the official Facebook Page of DepEd at facebook.com/DepartmentOfEducation.PH.

Joining the online conversation are Director Ronilda R. Co and Ms. Joan Grace Llamado from the DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS); Ms. Maria Fe G. Manuzon from the Division of Nueva Ecija; Marchelle dela Cruz from Cabiao Senior High School; and Francis Paulin from Buanoy National High School to share and discuss the department’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) and other programs aimed at protecting and promoting the well-being of learners and personnel in times of pandemic and disasters.

The DepEd-DRRMS has been providing mental health and psychosocial support to learners and personnel affected by disasters or emergencies since 2016. It acknowledges the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic to the whole DepEd community: for learners, who now adapt to distance learning, isolated from their teachers and friends; for teachers, who are reimagining how education should be done; for personnel, who are working for learning and public service continuity despite the pandemic and quarantine; and for the families, who continue to support learning in the face of anxiety and uncertainty.

DepEd also recognizes that COVID-19 has the potential to create a long-lasting and deep-seated “second pandemic” of mental health crises, bringing forth a generation afflicted with mental and psychosocial difficulties.

The upcoming episode will highlight the experiences of learners and personnel who benefitted from the DepEd MHPSS programs in the hopes of promoting and protecting mental health and wellness in the new normal.

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 by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.

This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation. ###