Hi, Hope! #MentalHealthPH’s 8th Anniversary 

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April 30, 2024

Writer/ Researcher: Jossa Corpuz </span
Editor: K Ballesteros
Moderator: Marie Nicole Ingrid Lusterio
Creatives: Emil James Los Baños

 

“And if you feel lost, remember there’s a lot of people out there who’s willing to offer you a home.”
-I am not talking about a house.

 

Years of fighting my own battles; isolation became my solution. Avoiding people is the only thing that I want to do because I convinced myself that, if people knew, they would judge me. They will neither listen nor care at all. Extreme independence became my defense mechanism. I did not want to rely on other people even though it cost my peace because I cannot trust anybody. I couldn’t find a safe place, I couldn’t find my home. I am a bottle floating in a raging ocean where my messages are unread and unnoticed. I would rather shatter before anyone discovers that this crisis in me exists. 

Ironic, isn’t it? I want to disappear when I’m not okay but, at the back of my mind, I was hoping that someone might notice my absence. I want someone to find me. 

I was scared but I tried. But doing things despite the fear will change you, and make you believe that courage is the best weapon for the hardest battles. After years of isolation and hyper independence, I finally decided to do my best to be a part of an organization. This organization made me feel safe right from the very first day of meeting them face-to-face. The organization made me feel that I was never alone, and that I was not the only one struggling. I love this place, I love this family, and I want to be an advocate. 

#MentalHealthPH held its anniversary event this 27 April 2024. Hi, Hope! used the five senses to communicate and amplify stories of hope. It was my first time attending this kind of event and I didn’t regret it. Everything was meaningful, and everything was filled with hope. 

The event featured five stations:

  • Station 1: Sight featured the Hope gallery. This gallery was filled with visual representation of someone’s survival.
  • Station 2: Hearing featured the stories of hope. This was my favorite. Listening to different people talking about their stories of hope. The shaking of the voice and how the speakers’ voices cracked on every word indicated the sincerity of every detail. While listened to them, I realized that there were a lot of people in this world fighting their own battles silently. We can become each other’s home. The speakers made everyone feel included. 
  • Station 3: Touch was also the best. I tried not to cry because the way the volunteers gave free hugs doesn’t feel like a usual hug. It feels so safe; I felt so welcomed.
  • Station 4: Taste gave out affirmation cookies. Every affirmation is random but the message I received was the message that I really needed to see. It said “In every journey, you’ll have someone to walk with you, share the load and be your companion”. This made me realize that isolation might make you feel safe from judgment, but sharing with people you love can literally make you feel better. Don’t be afraid, open up.
  • And the last station, Station 5: Smell was for Aromatherapy. The relaxing scents made your mind feel at peace. You can sit in silence to unwind.

The entire event was full of love. The love that I never thought will bring back the spark in me. This event was so meaningful. I learned a lot and I finally decided to pursue what I wanted in the future: I want to be like them. I want to help, heal, and inspire people. This event, this organization, made me find myself and I want you all to find yourselves too. 

Once again, if you feel lost there’s a lot of people out there who’s willing to offer you a home. In a world full of chaos and cruelty, be someone’s home and safe place. 

Session Questions: 

  1. How do you use your senses to help you with your mental health? 
  2. What has been your experience with #MentalHealthPH over the last eight years?
  3. What is your message of hope? Begin with “Hi, Hope. __________”

 

Bonus Anniversary Question: What kind of events and activities or issues do you want #MentalHealthPH to talk about in 2024?

 

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