#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. 

Online

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.  

Offline

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.

Onwards

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.

#MayKanlunganKa

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"

by

"Inside My Comfort Zone"

by Hannah Castalone

"Inner Peace

by

Untitled

by

"Kanlungan"

by

"My Safe Space"

by Wluv_Kaeth

"Safe Space"

by

Submit Your Artwork!

For #MentalHealthPH's 6th anniversary, we call on artists who are passionate about mental health to help us promote and create safe spaces for Filipinos!

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