by Amaranth Xena Soleil Saludar
“The discussion of mental health in the Philippines is often seen as a taboo or touchy subject. To remove this taboo from the Filipino mindset, we wanted to… casually [explain and introduce] these concepts in fun ways to promote the conversation of mental health,” said Yvan V. Gruenberg, a psychology major and founder of PsyPoints.
PsyPoints is a youth-led organization advocating psychology and mental health, commenced in December 2020 by a group of college students, mainly from De La Salle University.
Along with his friends and colleagues, Gruenberg aimed to create a “friendly and memorable” organization spreading mental health awareness among Filipinos. He also initiated the organization to further his passion for mental health.
“Growing up, I was always exposed to my friends, who had their mental health struggles, and… I always felt this need to help, or at least, talk to them and let them let out their feelings in any way they could,” Gruenberg recalled.
“I did my best, but I know I could have done better. I know that throughout that process… there are mistakes that I made, things that I shouldn’t have said. And I’d like to believe that I want to help make people smile in the future, to help people become the best [they] can be,” he added.
Motivated by this experience and the state of mental health conversation in the country, Gruenberg and his team aimed to communicate about mental health matters with the audience through video content on YouTube and publication materials on Facebook and Instagram.
The PsyPoints team wanted to do it in such a way to talk about psychology and mental health in daily life without appearing “intimidating” and to not “scare” people away and make them think of it as a “sensitive topic.”
On behalf of the team, Gruenberg shared the importance of their advocacy and why people need to further it, especially nowadays.
“Psychology encompasses everything about the human condition. There [are] good and bad, but ultimately, the more we explore it and learn about ourselves, the more we appreciate life [and] adapt to the world around us to have fun,” Gruenberg stated.
“Psychology gives us [the] power to adapt to our world… rather than talking about it when it is too late, why not talk about it as early as now and have fun on the way?” he added to invite people in spreading mental health awareness as well.