#MayKanlunganKa: SIX Years of Protecting our Safe Spaces

For the past 6 years, #MentalHealthPH championed creating safe spaces for Filipinos to openly discuss and take care of their mental health. From schools to workplaces, to communities, to digital spaces, and most especially for its ambassadors and mental health champions.

 A safe space is a venue where we can dream, imagine, and truly be ourselves. It is inclusive. It is without fear and judgment, and it doesn’t tolerate bullying or hating speech towards others. 

We’ve come a long way since that day, now with over 50 ambassadors and a hundred volunteers, we continue to build safe spaces online, on ground, and onward

A safe space is a venue where we can dream, imagine, and truly be ourselves. It is inclusive. It is without fear and judgment, and it doesn’t tolerate bullying or hating speech towards others. 


Social media networks, live streams, and a website that houses valuable resources. We also have different campaigns such as #UsapTayo, which seeks to educate and zero the suicide cases and stigma against mental health, #VoicesOfHope wherein the community contributed stories to give faces to and empower the people living with mental ill-health, #40SecondsOfHope which is a collection of 40-second messages of kindness and hope for those who need it and are going through difficult times, #MHTalks which is a live-streamed series on caring for one’s mental health through the lens of the Self, Society, and System, and recently KapwaMH, a Twitter Chatbot to help link people to appropriate help.  


By hosting and facilitating workshops, talks, and seminars to provide more personal support for our communities and partners. In addition to complementing its online initiatives, these allow us to remain inclusive by seeing to the needs of people for whom internet connections are not as available.


To extend our impact onwards, we seek out partnerships that not only improve the results of our interventions but help them be sustainable too. Teaming up with like-minded peers and organizations serves the people we care about, long after campaigns have ended.

Creating Safe Spaces

Now that the world is slowly opening again after two years of being in lockdown, and a change in leadership is about to happen, we know that your anxiety about a new life may be at an all-time high. To combat this, it is important that we learn how to create and protect our safe space. 

A safe space is a venue where we can dream, imagine, and truly be ourselves. It is inclusive. It is without fear and judgment, and it doesn’t tolerate bullying or hating speech towards others.

A safe space is a venue where we can dream, imagine, and truly be ourselves. It is inclusive. It is without fear and judgment, and it doesn’t tolerate bullying or hating speech towards others. You can protect and build a safe space via these different lenses: Self, Society, and System


To be your own safe space, you need to be ready to be vulnerable. To acknowledge your emotions, feel it, then talk about them. Learn to be okay to make mistakes and not beat yourself up too much about it, instead, acknowledge that these mistakes bring lessons. Take action by creating a space where you can just relax, such as a corner in your room or spending time in nature. Working on these can help you feel more comfortable and emotionally safe wherever. Say no with conviction, set healthy boundaries, and remember your strengths and successes. These can help you build self-esteem and resilience toward stress.


Find groups that share the same interests or advocacies you have. Just getting together with people who make you feel good can be very refreshing, and a great way to create greater emotional support in your life. If you feel that the stress you are experiencing is overwhelming, or if you are dealing with trauma or a serious situation the average person may not understand, therapists and support groups can be wonderfully effective.

Teaming up with NGOs, government, and private organizations, to talk about topics that are taboo such as mental health, helps create a safe space. A space where people can express how they feel without being judged, and a place where they can share their stories to inspire others to do so as well. It is also a space where people can educate each other about controversial topics. The digital space may be used for this as well. Social media can be stressful in some ways but is a great platform to reach a wide array of people. It can also be a great source of support if you are mindful about who you open yourself up to.


With our collective desire to keep pushing forward for a mentally healthy community, and to protect the safe spaces we have built and are building, we are launching #MayKanlunganKa, an art-centric campaign that aims to empower creators to use art to give people hope and remind them that they can be and have a safe space. After all, this is how change happens. One person speaking up and showing up and influencing others to do the same. 

One person speaking up and showing up and influencing others to do the same. 

The pandemic has already put mental health in the spotlight, and now that we’re entering the new normal, it should not be put on the back burner. Now, more than ever is the right time for us to use our voice and fight for our spaces, starting with these amazing artworks!

"Earth" | Tarik Garcia

"Inside My Comfort Zone" | Hannah Castalone

People say to go out of your comfort zone, but it's not always that easy and oftentimes can induce a lot of anxiety and stress. Which is why it's important to have a safe space you can easily retreat to, a place where you can breathe, calm down and recharge. A Comfort zone is not a bad thing, it's important for everyone's well being to have one. And instead of leaving the comfort zone isn't it better to expand it. This painting is an interpretation of my safe space; warm like a familiar embrace, fun, innocent and hopeful.

"Inner Peace" | Grace Macaraeg

Always leave something for yourself.



"Kanlungan" | Ferlynn Recto

In this piece, I intended to express a sense of calmness in a dark setting. Although the lights are weak, flickering, and barely noticeable, they are present. Kanlungan is one where you can rest before continuing. It does not have to be bright all the time. It just had to make you feel at ease with the sound of your own breathing.

"My Safe Space" | Kaessie Gegabine

For me, Safe space is a place where I can fully rest, where I could be my inner child without being judged or criticized and feel that whenever I get tired of living, there's someone who would remind me that I'm valid and often got my back if I fail or fall on the ground.

"Anonymity" by Lucille Cawaling

We currently live in a society where there is a constant need to be transparent and monitored for everyone’s safety. CCTVs, social media and internet cookies are just one of the ways to invade one’s privacy, yet we are glued to our phones or computers most of the time especially during the pandemic where most of us are confined inside our homes for safety. Most of us are able to find “Anonymity” to escape the invasive characteristics of our society, guard our privacy, to heal and reflect on our day to day life.

"Safe Space" | Danica May Cañon

A safe space for me is the middle of the night, where everyone is fast asleep and I'm just wide awake. The walls I've maintained throughout the day can finally lay itself to rest, allowing me to shed all the layers and faces I present to people. A safe space for me is that short period where I'm about to fall asleep and can finally breathe. Where I can live in a world of my own where no one can hurt me anymore.

Kirsten Miranda

Meet the Artists!

Hannah Castalone, is a self-taught contemporary artist from Pililla, Rizal. Her art style incorporates her love of Philippine culture and tradition with surreal,
whimsical, fantasy themes. Her subjects are notable for having their eyes closed, for she feels that having the subjects eyes closed reveals deeper emotion and at the same time shows softness and vulnerability.
Her artworks have been part of various local and international art exhibitions, she has been featured in online magazines and publications, and has been privately commissioned by art collectors not just locally but also around the world.
Facebook: facebook.com/hlc.arts
Instagram: @hlc.arts


Tarik Garcia is a U.P. Diliman Fine Arts graduate who is keen at planning, organizing, and multi-tasking. Her earliest freelance stint was making calling cards to fellow high school classmates. During college, she became an illustrator for various magazines. She’s been doing project-based work most of her career life, with experience in admin, visual arts, events, and production design. Having Schizo-Affective disorder, creating artworks has been one of her coping mechanisms. She is currently assisting in personalized mandala plate-making events and workshops, among other projects.

FB: @mother.pick3r
IG: @mother.picker

 I am a 3rd Year Public Health student who loves to draw my emotions. Creating art is my rawest form of self-expression and my most intimate way of communicating feelings with others; I always want to manifest and evoke emotion. Through it, I also find myself healing and mindful and I hope that by sharing it, others may feel the same sense of comfort and peace that I do.
Social Media Accounts – behance.net/renmanito
IG: @notrensdrawings

Danica May Cañon, also known as Raven, is an aspiring Filipina artist who is currently taking up a degree in Public Health. She loves illustrating random things under the sun but currently dabbles on landscapes, food art and neon pieces when she has free time from her work. Her work mainly involves digital pieces and is usually rendered fully due to her shyness in revealing her sketches. She hopes to learn animation in the future and be able to merge her craft with her other passions and advocacies.instagram.com/rhapsodyofraven


Lucylle Bianca Cawaling is a part time college instructor at Kalayaan College. She is also currently enrolled in University of the Philippines Diliman Campus’s Master’s of Arts program. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in Bachelor of Fine Arts Major in Painting and Minor in Graphics Designing the same college. She used towork part time as a Gallery Assistant in Sining Kamalig Art Gallery in Ali Mall, Cubao, Quezon City. She used to organize events for Boxless Society, a mental health Support group for artist and their caregivers, apart from volunteering for Smokey Tours and World Experience Philippines.

I am a psychology graduate and an Illustrator and I like to portray both emotions and thoughts through my art.

IG: mcrggrc

I’m Kaessie, a Psychology major from Rizal Technological University. I’m a type of person who loves bringing my ideas to life and makes it more unique. Furthermore, I’m a survivor and a mental health advocate.
Facebook: Kaessie Gegabine 

Ferlynn Recto has been dedicated to refining her painting and digital art skills, which mostly showcase natural landscapes. She has contributed illustrations to a number of children’s books. Her purpose with her artworks is to convey a sense of serenity, quiet, and peace. She dreams of publishing her own books and launching art exhibitions.

Kirsten A Miranda
Follow Kirsten’s social media accounts!: @ohitskirs

Kanlungan Art Drop-off Points

Catch the printed artcards on our select partners all around the Philippines!

To be announced

To be announced

Six years is a long time, but there is still so much work to do. We are positive and hopeful that as long as we work together, a mentally healthy community is within reach. Ready to build more safe spaces with you,

Your #MentalHeathPH family.

Support the Community!

#MentalHealthPH is a private, non-stock, and non-profit organization, donations and any kind of support would  go a long way to help us run our campaigns! <3