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Save the Children Philippines calls for realization of children’s well-being on World Mental Health Awareness Day

SAVE the Children Philippines joins the observance of World Mental Health Day on Saturday, with a strong call for parents, guardians, and teachers to ensure that children’s right to development, including social and emotional, are realized despite the pandemic.
    The quarantine period, now on its sixth month, has prevented children to play outside, socialize, and even attend face-to-face classes.
    Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines, said a lapse in education due to prolonged school closure and lack of social interactions can have irreversible and devastating impact on children’s mental health.
    “Children may perceive time differently than adults as a few weeks or months out of school may already seem a longer period to them,” said Muyot.
    Children are anxious and sad because apart from worrying about not being able to catch up, they are missing their friends in school and the activities where they interact with other children, he said. These interactions are important to children’s development.
    Parents and guardians should see the quarantine period as an opportunity to build their relationships and provide the necessary support that their children need, particularly emotional care.
    “When adults face different challenges as they juggle their daily lives or encounter problems that they are not used to, especially before COVID-19, they may not be able to provide attentive care to their children,” said Muyot.
    “Parents, guardians should be patient and empathize with their children because they also go through similar psychosocial distress,” added Muyot.
    Save the Children Philippines is actively advocating Positive Discipline – a parenting approach that strengthens the relationship between parents or guardians and their children.
    Positive discipline teaches parents and guardians how to show children their love and support without using hurtful ways of disciplining. It empowers parents to rear children in a positive way that builds a loving and safe environment where children can thrive and develop to their full potential
    In humanitarian situations, Save the Children Philippines provides Psychological First Aid and psychosocial support sessions to both parents and children during emergencies for their mental health and psychosocial well-being.

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