The Department of Psychology under the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) held a mental health awareness campaign that took place last November 5 to 8, 2019.

Dr. Eva Marie Gacasan (left), Chair of the Department of Psychology and Mr. Reynaldo Inocian (right), Research Institute Director-Innovative Instructional Delivery cuts the ribbon to officially open the interactive gallery exhibit on mental health awareness and suicide prevention assisted by John Ronnel Priolo (center), Psychology student. / Photo by Mechelle Canoy

This event targeted students of the University at different levels. The celebration consisted of several activities beginning with a short program at the Eva Macapagal Memorial Arts (EMMA) Center and ribbon cutting of an interactive gallery exhibit on mental health awareness and suicide prevention, prepared by Psychology major students, at the Integrated Laboratory School (ILS) Centennial Stage.

A seminar participated in by college students immediately followed at the EMMA Center in which some of the information imparted by Mr. Kevin Remedio, a University of San Carlos (USC) Psychology professor were about facts and myths about mental health.

Integrated Laboratory School (ILS) students play educational games as part of the ILS wellness program facilitated by the Psychology students. / Photo by John Paul Fajardo

The succeeding days saw various activities including the ILS wellness program designed for elementary and junior high school students that included educational games and activities about dealing with school stress. Similarly, a college stress management training was conducted by Mr. Martin Sentina, a Psychology faculty member of the University.

A number of the Psychology students who participated in the Wacky Day wearing their costumes. / Photo by John Paul Fajardo

There was also a Zumba session and a Wacky Day in which Psychology students wore costumes that depict how it is to be different. Separate seminars were also organized by Ms. Chery Bercede for students in the College of Teacher Education (CTE), and College of Nursing (CN).

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that globally, more than 300 million people across ages suffer from depression. Every year, around 800,000 people die of suicide, making it the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.

Dr. Eva Marie Gacasan, Chair of the Department of Psychology, delivers her Welcome Remarks reminding Psychology students to take care of themselves first before helping others who are experiencing mental health problems. / Photo by Mechelle Canoy

Dr. Eva Marie Gacasan, Chair of the Department of Psychology, said that the event aims to promote mental health awareness to students, in particular to develop resilience among students and to create a more nurturing and caring environment in the University.

“The reality is we are all vulnerable to life’s stresses and at several points in our lives, our mental health and psychological being may be affected, therefore the only thing that we can ever do is to develop resilience particularly among children and youth – to equip them with the right tools so that they can effectively cope,” she said as a message to the students.

“Mental health is everyone’s business. It is our business and if we can reach out to others, we might just be able to help save lives,” she said encouraging those experiencing mental health problems to be open in seeking help and approach teachers, guidance counselors, and friends in times of need.    

She also said that psychology majors, being in the helping profession, are expected to help those who are experiencing mental health problems, but reminded the students about self-care first before they can even care or help others.

Jona Mae Alfante, Bachelor of Science (BS) Psychology 2 student, said that she is happy that the Mental Health Week organized by the department for the University, for the first time.

The opening of the Mental Health Week 2019 coincidentally was the day when the results of October 2019 Psychometrician Licensure Exam (PLE) was released.

Daryl Abrinica, I-Mind Psychology Society President announced the CNU BS Psychology graduates who made it to the top ten of the recent PLE namely, Shelter Anne Hernando who landed in the 4th place, and Jamaika Lyze Lumacang who secured the 9th spot.

He motivated his co-majors to strive further to reach the 100 percent passing percentage.

“Let’s do our best, let’s aim for our dreams, let’s reach our goals,” he said.

Mrs. Bernadette Bigcas, Ms. Jennifer Jane Descallar, and Mr. James Louies Un were in the organizing committee.

Prizes were given to winners of best gallery exhibit with the financial assistance of Mr. Emmanuel Hernani. (EPG, JDF, & KRR)