BY ASANGAN T. MADALE
DR RASID PACA, Executive Vice President of the Mindanao State University System (MSUS) main campus, spearheaded the opening program of MSU’s National Mental Health Week Observance. He also joined the nationwide observance held recently after the flag raising ceremony at the Antonio Isidro Hall – “With the theme “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right,”
Paca emphasize that the event aims to promote a healthy and peaceful community by raising awareness of mental health issues among MSU constituents and by reducing the stigma associated with seeking support. This was also in line with Proclamation No. 452, series of 1994, which declared the second week of October as National Mental Health Week, and in celebration of World Mental Health Day as declared by the World Health Organization.
Dr. Amerkhan G. Cabaro, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs main campus also emphasized the importance of celebrating Mental Health Week ,especially in building a healthy and peaceful academic community. Paca and Cabaro both highlighted the need to create a more supportive and understanding environment for students, faculty and staff especially those who are struggling with mental challenges.
Dr. Aminoding B. Limpao, Chairperson of the Department of Psychology and Related Services and Vice Chairperson of the event’s working committee, emphasized that mental health is as important as physical health and that peace comes from a peaceful mind. “There is no peace if there is no peace of the mind and the heart,” he said.
The keynote speaker, Hon. Jamil Faisal “Jeff” Adiong, Board Member of Lanao del Sur Province and SK Panlalawigan Federation President, encouraged the MSU constituents to take care of their mental and emotional well-being through counseling. He also cited some common mental health challenges faced by students and workers, including stress, anxiety, and depression. In addition, he emphasized that mental health is a public health issue and that all sectors, including local government units and academic institutions, should work together to address it.
According to MSU Scholarship Center Director Dr. Faridah D. Alango, RGC, the Mental Health Week Observance will continue throughout the week with a variety of events and activities designed to promote mental health awareness and well-being. These include trainings, seminars, exhibits, a mental health walk, and stress relief activities.
MSU is committed to promoting mental health awareness and well-being among its students, faculty, and staff. The Mental Health Week Observance is one of many ways that the university is working to create a supportive and inclusive environment under the administration of MSU System President Atty Basari D. Mapupuno.
BM Jamil Faisal “Jeff” Adiong cutting the Ribbon assisted by MSU System EVP President Rasid Paca to start the formal opening of the program on Mental health celebration CONTRIBUTED
The program ended with the signing of the Mental Health Wall through a hand marking and painting and the Exhibit Ribbon Cutting led by Paca & Board Member of Lanao del Sur Hon Jamil Faisal “Jeff” Adiong and other university officials and guests in attendance.
In another study obtained by the Mindanao Daily news enlightened us that World Mental Health Day 2023 theme is “Our Minds, Our Rghts” emphasizing the importance that “mental health is a universal human right”. According to the WHO, Mental health is a basic human right for all people. Everyone, whoever and wherever they are, has a right to the highest attainable standard of mental health, the organization says.
It was learned that world wide,one in eight people lives with a mental health condition, which impacts their physical and social health. Increasingly , more children, teens and young adults grapple with mental illness.
Despite the prevalence of mental health conditions, the organization notes that people with mental illness experience discrimination, feel excluded and struggle to receive much-needed care that would help them thrive.
MSU System EVP Dr. Rasid Paca (8th-left-riight) & BM Jamil Paisal “Jeff” Adiong (9th -left-right) poses for a souvenir photo with other university officials, guests from the province of Lanao del Sur. – CONTRIBUTED PHOTO.