by Amaranth Xena Soleil Saludar
“We want to change the mindset of Filipinos regarding the stigma of mental health in the country… that it’s okay to ask for help when needed and to not feel ashamed of it,” said the 4-man team behind the Protect Your Peace Facebook (FB) page.
Patrick Adriano, Iñigo Martin, Michael Concepcion, and Ivan Barin, who are all taking up BS Marketing Management in their second year at De La Salle University (DLSU) – Manila, learned the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their course Purposive Communication.
Tasked to form an advocacy on a particular SDG, the group chose SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and decided to advocate and focus on mental health in the Philippines.
The group created in September 2020 “Protect Your Peace,” an FB page whose name was conceptualized based on the idea of protecting people’s state of mind by sustaining a community that cares for one another.
“… [Individuals should remember] that health is not just their physical condition, but it is also the state of their well-being. Love and peace of mind do protect us. They allow us to overcome the problems that life hands us. They teach us to survive, to live now, to have the courage to confront each day, which is what Bernie Siegel said. Peace does not mean that you have to be somewhere quiet or still. Being in the midst of everything that is happening with a calm mind and heart shows great inner peace. Protecting your peace means that you are guarding your state of mind, and this is important in maintaining a community wherein everybody can seek help and support one another,” the team expounded.
Other than a course requirement, what motivated the group to initiate the project is to raise awareness of the mental health situation of the country. They wanted the country’s health sectors to act on giving importance to Filipinos’ mental health.
Currently, the team is looking for partner organizations with the same advocacy, as they “look forward [to create] change toward mental health in the country” together with them.
Finally, they want to tell and inspire everyone about the importance of their advocacy to their fellow Filipinos.
“By creating a Facebook page for our advocacy, we would be given a platform to inform and to possibly help those who are in need. Through our combined efforts that we put in, we could encourage everyone to go through what they go through, together,” the group heartened.