MANILA, PHILIPPINES — As the world prepares to celebrate Mental Health Action Day on May 18, Globe, the leading digital solutions platform in the Philippines, highlights how a simple tech-enabled cybersecurity and safety campaign evolved into a meaningful movement that has gained support from various stakeholders, including commercial partners, the academe, and lawmakers.
Globe reintroduced the #MakeITSafePH campaign to promote responsible and mindful online behavior and raise awareness about cyberbullying, placing focus on its impact on Filipino youth and the role of parents and guardians to mitigate it. The campaign kicked off in June 2022 to coincide with World Social Media Day, followed closely by the launch of the #MakeITSafePH microsite shortly after.
Using blocked data, social listening, and crowdsourcing, the #MakeITSafePH microsite features a Cyberbullying Glossary, collecting common terms and emojis used in such acts alongside real anecdotes where these were perpetuated. Globe later turned these terms into digital and physical flashcards to bring parents’ learning offline, also partnering with external organizations to demonstrate how seemingly-harmless terms or emojis can be used against children.
Globe launched two digital films on social media to encourage visits to the website. The first film, Parents Social Experiment, showed how parents find it hard to decipher words and emojis that kids today use for cyberbullying, and how learning this novel language may help them better protect their children. The second film, Off to School, emphasized the impact of cyberbullying on children’s physical and mental health.
Globe also tapped KonsultaMD, its telemedicine platform that recognizes the need for digital and mental health. For a more holistic approach, the #MakeITSafePH site provides access to free mental health consultations via KonsultaMD for families who have experienced or are experiencing cyberbullying.
Globe also spearheaded cyberbullying awareness through Facebook Community webinars featuring its brand Ambassadors.
Video e-Modules of Globe’s Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP) have likewise been included in the Department of Education’s K-12 curriculum to supplement learning on supporting and enforcing child online safety and responsibility.
These initiatives generated a 315% increase in mental health consultations in KonsultaMD, a 19% increase in KonsultaMD app downloads, and a social media reach of over 147 million, with more than 22.6 million engagements. The initiative also generated editorial coverage of 250 stories. Over 40 acclaimed influencers and celebrities and more than 250 nano-influencers shared their own experiences with cyberbullying. It also sparked conversations within Facebook parenting communities, including through webinars.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who is leading the call to revisit the Philippines’ anti-bullying law, expressed his gratitude for the efforts. “We need to explore avenues to educate more people on a larger scale, and that can be achieved through enacting laws and allocating budgets. This type of awareness is crucial, and I am grateful to Globe for spearheading this initiative,” he said.
Yoly Crisanto, Globe Group Chief Sustainability and Corporate Communications Officer, also emphasized the importance of teaching online safety and responsibility to protect the youth’s mental health. “The family serves as the ultimate safety net against cyberbullying. We want to equip parents and guardians with the necessary tools and knowledge to provide a safe and responsible online environment for their children. We hope to promote digital well-being among the youth by emphasizing the crucial role of families in protecting young people from the harmful effects of cyberbullying,” she stressed.
Globe’s #MakeITSafePH campaign has not only raised awareness about the negative impact of cyberbullying on mental health, but has also led to real-world interventions that will help create safer digital spaces and mindful young netizens in the longer term. The success of the campaign underscores the need for continued efforts to promote mental health and well-being, especially among children and young adults.
According to Meltwater and We Are Social’s “Digital 2023 Global Overview Report,” the Philippines has logged 84.45 million social media users as of January 2023, representing 72.5% of the total population. Sadly, Filipino children are also among the most vulnerable and exposed to online risks, including cyberbullying, phishing, and hacking. A study by cybersecurity firm Surfshark revealed that Filipino children have the second-highest exposure to these online risks worldwide.
Online violence, including cyberbullying, has devastating effects on children’s physical and emotional well-being, causing long-term emotional and psychological damage.
Globe’s #MakeITSafePH campaign reminds everyone that mental health is essential, especially for young people navigating the digital landscape.
For more information about Globe, visit their website at https://www.globe.com.ph/.