Angat Buhay’s new program eyed to reduce stigma on mental health problems

July 14, 2022 - 9:36 AM
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Signing of the memorandum of agreement between Angat Buhay and Project: Steady on July 13, 2022 (Facebook/Angat Buhay)

Some Filipinos expressed hope that Angat Buhay‘s new program on mental health will reduce the stigma on mental health problems in the country.

The non-government organization on July 13 announced its partnership with Project: Steady Asia, a group that helps the trauma victims, for this program.

Project: Steady is an initiative under Rock Ed Philippines (Rocking society through alternative education), a volunteer-driven group that provides alternative education classes to the youth.

“Ang Project: Steady ay isang inisyatiba sa ilalim ng Rock Ed Philippines na naglalayong rumesponde sa mental health needs ng mga Pilipino sa panahon ng sakuna. Ngayon, mas pinalawak pa ito para tugunan ang mental health concerns na dala ng pandemya,” Angat Buhay said.

In its statement, Angat Buhay explained that Project: Steady is set to conduct mental health decompression sessions to its volunteers, partners and staff twice a month.

“Magsasagawa ang Project: Steady ng mental health decompression sessions dalawang beses sa isang buwan (onsite man o sa pamamagitan ng virtual platforms) para sa staff, partners, at volunteers ng Angat Buhay. Kasama sa mga sesyon ang paggamit ng creative arts therapy para sa mga kalahok,” the organization said.

“Magbibigay rin ang Project: Steady ng certification bilang peer counselors sa mga partisipante na makakadalo sa lahat ng mga sesyon,” it added.

Veteran lawyer Leni Robredo, also the former vice president, promoted this partnership on her Facebook page.

The signing of the memorandum of agreement for their upcoming programs was led by Angat Buhay Chairperson Leni Robredo, Angat Buhay Executive Director Raffy Magno, Project: Steady Founder Gang Badoy Capati, and Project: Steady Operations Director Melinda de Jesus.

Some Filipinos, especially supporters of Robredo, praised this move in the comments sections of the posts.

Others also hoped that this project will help stop the stigma on mental health concerns among Filipinos.

“Time to end mental health stigma. Salamat, Angat Buhay!” one user said.

“Dahil sa pandemic ang dami po talaga nakakaranas ng mental health problem. malaking tulong po ang programang ito,” another user commented.

“The relevant project we need. Thanks Team Angat Buhay!” another user said.

According to Psychology Today, a reference website, creative arts therapy or creative interventions are approaches in psychotherapy and counseling to individuals in all ages.

“Art, music, dance, drama, and poetry therapies are referred to as ‘creative arts therapies’ because of their roots in the arts and theories of creativity,” the article said.

“These therapies and others that utilize self-expression in treatment are also called “expressive therapies” (Malchiodi, 2005; 2013; 2014),” it added.

Similar to this, Vice President Sara Duterte previously established a mental health center for homeless people in Davao City, back when she was still the provincial mayor.

Duterte inaugurated the Mental Wellness Center for Homeless Building on Jan. 21, 2022.