MANILA, PHILIPPINES — In celebration of the National Mental Health Awareness Month, PLDT and Smart, through the Better Today program, featured advocates in a conversation episode, including Mark Averilla or “Macoy Dubs”, Riyan Portuguez or “Your Millennial Psychologist”, Ali Sangalang of Linya-Linya, and General Santos Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President John Demdam.
“Through Better Today, we strengthen the narrative on youth empowerment as we become enablers of pursuing one’s passion and purpose. By empowering the youth to take on an active participation towards change and nation-building, we envision a hopeful future for the next generation,” said Stephanie Orlino, PLDT and Smart AVP and Head of Stakeholder Management.
For his part, Ali shared how content creation has the ability to show a person’s authentic self. According to him, creating content involves a process of failing and trying again. “Okay lang ang magkamali. Diyan natin nakikilala ang sarili natin. Huwag kayong lumayo sa kung sino talaga kayo… walang talo sa pagiging totoo,” he shared. (It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s how we get to know ourselves better. Do not stray away from who you really are… no one loses when one remains true to oneself.)
Meanwhile, Riyan shared how empathy goes a long way when it comes to leadership: “If you are a leader in the mental health advocacy, it is important that you amplify the voices of those who are powerless and unheard. Focus the spotlight on the people, so that their voices will be louder.”
As a youth leader, John shared how the youth can have an active role and participation when it comes to championing advocacies such as mental health. “Collaboration and multi-sectoral responsibility are important when it comes to lobbying for policies such as mental health,” he shared. When one is lost, he encouraged people to go back to their vision and anchor themselves on their “why.”
Meanwhile, Macoy Dubs shared how a great support system can become a powerful enabler of growth. “We need to surround ourselves with people who can empower us and support us as a way to protect our well-being and mental state.”
Promoting digital wellness is a key part of PLDT and Smart’s continuing commitment to help the Philippines contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) #3 that stands for good health and well-being.