PLDT, Smart empower youth at Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology through mental health awareness initiative

As part of their broad program to promote digital wellness particularly among the youth, PLDT and Smart recently supported the mental health initiative of the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST). Attended by over 400 youth participants, the uplifting conversations were part of NEUST’s student government-led effort entitled, “I Matter: Building One’s Mental Health Across Different Bridges”.

Longtime PLDT and SMART Better Today program advocate Riyan Portuguez, more popularly known as “Your Millennial Psychologist, is one of the resources speakers during the event.

“In PLDT and Smart, we empower the youth to become advocates of Internet safety by cultivating spaces where they can build authentic relationships and feel a sense of comfort and camaraderie. By enabling the youth to become agents of change, we strengthen our goal of having an inclusive community towards a better today,” said Stephanie V. Orlino, AVP and head of Stakeholder Management at PLDT and Smart.

Riyan Portuguez, more popularly known as “Your Millennial Psychologist”, was among the speakers during the event. Portuguez shared how it is important to foster high-quality connections and relationships by establishing trust, becoming a safe space, communicating affirmation, practicing gratitude, and being present.

“As social psychologist Joost Meerloo said, ‘The delight in conversation comes not from making sense, but from making contact.’. It is important that we create authentic relationships where we are surrounded by people we trust and where we feel safe,” Portuguez shared.

According to Tonie Mark Bautista, who serves as the Vice President of the NEUST Student Government, leading initiatives such as the “I Matter” event is an opportunity for the students to find a safe space to communicate their feelings and emotions. “Raising mental health awareness is a crucial step when it comes to nurturing relationships and building a community anchored on empathy and kindness,” Bautista shared.

Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology students work together in an activity during the session.

PLDT and Smart continue to deploy programs and innovations designed to uplift and improve the overall physical and mental wellness of Filipinos.

These initiatives are part of PLDT and Smart’s continuing commitment to help the Philippines contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly UN SDG 3 that stands for good health and well-being.