“Tough times never last, tough people do “ – Rober R. Scholler
Mental health awareness is an important issue for all learners and educators nowadays. Stress, life events, past experiences all play a part in determining our mental health. In case of our learners, factors affecting their mental health include culture shock, peer pressure, academic stand, family problem, and financial issues.
To address the issue regarding mental health awareness under Republic Act No. 11036 or the Mental Health Act of the Philippines, San Juan Elementary School conducted a mental health activity entitled PROJECT KAAGAPAY with the theme, “Break the Stigma and Let’s Protect our Mental Health”. This is San Juan Elementary School’s response about the need for a mental health awareness among learners and as part of the School Mental Health Program of Oplan Kalusugan sa DepEd (OK sa DepEd).
The said activity was conducted last March 31, 2023, at the conference hall of San Juan Elementary School where elected learners from Grade 5, Grade 6 and SPG officers attended as the participants. The activity was spearheaded by an opening remark from Mrs. Lovely M. Gidayawan, Guidance Teacher of SJES. The resource speaker who shared his expertise from the said activity was Mr. Paulo Miguel Perez, Mental Health Advocate who graduated from the University of Sto. Thomas and also served as a catechist teacher from several public schools in the City of San Juan.
The speaker talked on the topics about concepts of mental health, resilience, coping strategies, and red flags of mental health problems among learners and how they can cope with these problems. He emphasized also the role of the Guidance Office as one of the key factors to help students mature more holistically as they move through the different learning stages. Sir Paulo demonstrated SOLER – Sit squarely, Open posture, Lean towards the other, Eye contact, Relax as one effective method of actively listening to a person. It can be a very effective way of listening to people in a counselling situation, also in a conversation to a friend or a classmate. The activity ended with a closing remark by Mrs. Cynthia Galedo, SPG adviser that highlighted the importance of the activity to the leaners and how it can help to be mentally healthy. She left the hashtag #AkoAyDisiplinado #MalayoPaPeroMalayoKaNa empowering the selected learners to fight against mental health issues.
San Juan Elementary School plans to hold a series of discussions and advocacies in Mental health which is crucial to all learners, teachers, personnel, and parents. Advocating mental health and promoting mental wellness in San Juan Elementary School and the community is a collaborative effort and responsibility of everyone. Let us join our hands in supporting each other towards a mentally healthy school and community.
Article Written by:
LOVELY M GIDAYAWAN
San Juan Elementary School - Teacher III