La Union LGU champions PLDT, Smart’s mental health initiatives

Together with the Provincial Government of La Union and mental health advocate Joy Ortega, PLDT and Smart reinforce their commitment to creating safe spaces online for the youth to discuss mental health through the monthly conversations series entitled, “Kamusta Ka, eLyU?”. With two episodes aired, the series has garnered over 10,000 views and counting. 

 “We want to assure the youth of La Union that there is a safe space that is especially made for them. This is exactly what “Kamusta Ka, eLyU?” is all about. It’s a platform that drives important conversations on mental health awareness. We are grateful to PLDT and Smart for being our co-champions when it comes to mental health,” Ortega said.

 “PLDT and Smart believe creating safe spaces — offline and online, is critical when it comes to promoting a more empathic culture, leading to an inclusive and understanding community. Through Better Today, we empower the youth to become our advocates of being better for themselves, their families, and the larger community,” said Cathy Yap-Yang, who is the PLDT and Smart First Vice President and Group Head for Corporate Communications. 

 For its second episode, the topic was Resilience. The resource speakers were Toby Tamayo, who is a consultant for the Provincial Government of La Union, an environmentalist, conservationist, and advocate; and Roy Dahildahil, who is the Co-founder and Executive Director of #MentalHealthPH, which is one of the largest mental health organizations in the country. 

 According to Tamayo, there is strength and resilience that’s instilled among the Filipino people. “This is most especially true as the people of La Union recently faced the devastating impact of Typhoon Maring. We were all taken by surprise. But knowing La Union, our quickness to respond to such adversities has greatly shown our preparation and resiliency,” Tamayo said. 

 Tamayo also shared the importance of living the best day of your life by treating each day as moments to be better. He also imparted practical relaxation tips such as breathing exercises to help people cope with feelings of anxiety. 

 Meanwhile, Dahildahil shared #MentalHealthPH’s self-care kit called, “A seed called courage” (https://mentalhealthph.org/self-care-kit/), which they launched last October. “We all have courage within us, but we must find ways to cultivate it. We all have the power to make it happen,” Dahildahil said. 

 “Like everything else in life, the hardest part is to actually start something. But our courage reminds us that it’s okay to take life at our own pace because showing up in itself is already a huge step to cultivate courage,” Dahildahil added. 

 According to Dahildahil, the self-care kit serves as a tool that empowers people to take on their journey towards becoming mentally healthy and resilient. It is an important reminder that despite the darkest times, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel. 

 Catch the replay of the “Kamusta Ka, eLyU?” episode in the official Facebook Page of Joy Ortega: https://bit.ly/3BDBhYh.

 PLDT and Smart seek to uplift and improve the overall physical and mental wellness of Filipinos through initiatives that ensure food security, improve nutrition, and create awareness online. 

 These initiatives emphasize the commitment of PLDT and Smart to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG #3: Good Health and Well-Being.