DOH Launches Partnership with #MentalHealthPH for Initiatives on Mental Health

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Joint Press Release | February 22, 2023

The Department of Health (DOH), through the Health Promotion Bureau (HPB), and #MentalHealthPH (MHPH), a non-government organization that promotes and protects mental health in the Philippines, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to officially launch their partnership to encourage behavioral and mindset change among various target audiences through the development of the self-care kits and its integration in health promotion tools provided to Local Government Units through the Centers for Health Development.

The signing was held at the Department of Health Central Office on February 22, 2023. DOH and #MentalHealthPH were represented by Assistant Secretary Beverly Lorraine Ho and Executive Director Roy Dahildahil. 

“As we recognize the pivotal role of mental health, the DOH commits to empowering Filipinos to take charge of their overall well-being by making healthy behaviors easier for everyone. This partnership between the DOH and #MentalHealthPH emphasizes the importance of addressing mental wellness outside of the clinics and hospitals and making it part of our everyday lives in the community. Through these self-care kits, we are shifting attitudes and reducing barriers for Filipinos to practice healthy behaviors. “ shared Asec. Ho during the ceremonial signing.

The self-care kits came to life during #MentalHelthPH’s celebration of World Mental Health Month last October 2021, with their theme, “Cultivating Courage to Embrace Vulnerabilities.” The advocacy group recognized the ongoing problem Filipinos are having where they struggle with their mental health due to isolation caused by the pandemic. With this in mind, MHPH conducted a behavioral design workshop among mental health professionals and advocates to see how we can improve the youth’s access to mental health services and support. The workshop led to self-care workbooks that encourage people to practice check-in behaviors and educate them about the different self-care activities they can do at their own pace.

In the self-care kit volume 1 called “Seed of Courage,” the user is introduced to the kit’s character, “Courage.” Courage represents a Filipino value that needs to be nurtured in every individual to help them become mentally healthy. On the other hand, “A Garden of Compassion,” volume 2 of the self-care kit, introduces another character, Kalachuchi, to symbolize the growth and revival that we experience when the people around us are supporting us through both easy and difficult situations.

“It is a dream for us in #MentalHealthPH to provide access to mental health tools for the community. These self-care kits are a collection of our team’s story, our personal pain that brought us together, and the hope we found in each other, which we want other people to experience too. We are grateful for DOH-HPB for the opportunity to expand our reach and change more lives one community at a time,” shared Nikki Lizarondo, Deputy Director for Communications of #MHPH. 

The DOH and #MentalHealthPH enjoins the public to join the cause of making mental health support more accessible to all. The digital copy of the self-care kits is free to download through http://healthypilipinas.ph and A Seed Called Courage (https://bit.ly/dohmhphselfcarekit-1) and Garden of Compassion (https://bit.ly/dohmhphselfcarekit-2). #MentalHealthPH is open for support for these to be reproduced and distributed by individuals, organizations, and companies to reach a wider audience. To learn more about the self-care kits, you may contact #MentalHealthPH through hello@mentalhealthph.org.

Let us all aim to make our country a mentally healthier one where every Filipino’s mental health and well-being are promoted and protected. Because taking care of one’s self isn’t limited to your physical health. As the World Health Organization says, there is no health without mental health. 

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