THE Department of Health (DOH) – Ilocos Region piloted the “Thank You Self”, a vlog making contest for elementary and high school students in the town of Anda located in the eastern part of Pangasinan province to promote mental health and healthy behaviors among the youth in celebration of October – the Mental Health Awareness Month.
The contest is an online campaign for local children and teenagers showcasing their self-care practices by highlighting this year’s theme, ‘Mental Health is a Universal Human Right’. It was successfully concluded in collaboration with the Department of Education of Pangasinan and the Local Government Unit of Anda.
DOH- Ilocos Region Local Health Support Division Chief Jimuel S. Cardenas, guest of honor during the awarding ceremony held at the Anda Gymnasium on October 17, 2023, said that learning about mental health in school gives students the opportunity to understand themselves and how they can support their friends and peers. “Sa bilis ng pagbabago ng panahon kasabay ng teknolohiya na may malaking impluwensya sa kalusugan at kapakanan ng ating mga kabataan at ito ay kinakailangan nating bantayan dahil kadalasan ay nakakaapekto ito sa pagpapaunlad ng kanilang kaisipan.”
“Adolescents absorbed in social media apps forgets the importance of social interactions which sometimes lead to low self-esteem and low self-confidence that may possibly contribute to depression. Napakaimportante na sa murang edad ay magabayan natin sila at maturuan sa kahalagahan ng pagkakaroon ng isang malusog na kaisipan at kung paano ito mapangangalaggan,” he explained.
Cardenas also thanked the support of the Anda LGU and encouraged parents, teachers and local health leaders to sustain their campaign on mental health awareness. “Malaki po ang maitutulong natin sa ating mga kabataan, you can teach them in recognizing the symptoms of anxiety and depression, getting them to understand the importance of self-care and mental well-being so that we can help reduce the stigma associated with having mental health problems.”
The “Thank You Self” online vlog making contest was participated by 16 contestants from various schools within the locality, four (4) elementary and twelve (12) high school students submitted their video entries, and were posted on the official FB page of their respective barangay.
For the elementary level, Denise Angelie Gines won the first prize with ₱5,000 cash for her entry entitled “Mahalaga Ako”; second prize winner with ₱3,000 went to Dilan Villegas with his entry “Dear Self”; and the third prize winner with ₱2,000 went to Gian Salting for his “Tulad ng Isang Lobo” vlog.
A cash prize of ₱1,000 each was given to winners of the ‘the most liked’ and ‘most loved’ entry won by Tori Tula of Anda Elementary School and Anda Integrated School Elementary Department, respectively.
For the high school level, the vlog entry of Prince Lyndon Olermom, ‘Ang Eroplanong Papel”, on the first prize and the ‘most liked’ entry with ₱5,000 and ₱1,000 prize; the second prize entitled, “Relax and Recharge: A Self Care Adventure” which also earned ‘the most loved’ entry went to Angel Tocmohan with ₱2,000; and the third prize with ₱2,000 was received by Justin Jay Castillo for his “My Ways to have a Healthy Mind” vlog.
A consolation prize of ₱500 each were given to the non-winners who joined the contest.
Regional Health Promotion Unit Head Cheryl D. Buhong, said that the activity is still part of DOH Health Promotion Playbook to encourage LGUs to implement and promote programs and activities that advocates for a healthy lifestyle.
“This is part of the seven healthy habits under the DOH’s Health Promotion Framework Strategy 2021 to 2030, under priority area 3 which is ‘caring for yourself and caring for others’. Self-care is all that we do to take care of ourselves in order to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally well. We need to practice self-care in order to preserve or improve our mental health and well-being,” Buhong concluded.