Mental health advocates comprising of students, educators, and professionals gathered at the Luxembourg Hall on the 22nd of October for this year’s mental health talk with the topic Suicide Prevention. The event was spearheaded by mental health advocate and Top 4 BLEPP 2017 Registered psychologist, Dr. Mike U. Jimenez. During the talk, Dr. Jimenez highlighted the utmost alarming aspects of suicidal ideations. Participants were introduced to both preventive and corrective solutions to aid the increasing number of suicide cases nationwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in its earlier report, suicide rate in the Philippines is rampant with a ratio of 2.5 in men and 1.7 in women per 100,000 in population.
In an interview, College of Psychology dean, Dr. Ruel Cajili shared, “This Mental Health Talk is part of our annual Psych Talk Series, which is a learning strategy designed by the College of Psychology to impart knowledge of the discipline outside the classroom setting.” Each year, the College of Psychology commits to crafting a well-thought theme relevant to the most needed mental health issues. “Last year, our theme was #MentalHealthWarrior, an introductory program, introducing Mental Health NOT as an illness but an opportunity to help people who are emotionally and psychologically struggling. We introduced the Mental Health Law RA 11036, its objectives and benefits that people can receive. This is also a way to fight the STIGMA linked with mental conditions. This year we have #YouMatter which is more of a psychoeducational approach to help society understand the battle experienced by someone who has suicidal ideation and teach them how to prevent and overcome this battle,“ said Dr. Cajili.
#YouMatter is a call of action more than a reminder which aims to promote self-awareness that may lead to early detection of one’s suicidal tendencies. #YouMatter has been present in Southville’s co-curricular activities towards Mental Health Awareness such as the Comprehensive Growth Program (CGS), Breakfast with Mentors, Anti-Bullying Campaigns, Focus Group Discussion, and Expression of One’s Self through Art Exhibits.