MANILA, PHILIPPINES– The Philippines sets the world’s longest lockdown. And along with it comes another potential pandemic silently raging in the background, less visible but equally important— the mental health pandemic. The National Center for Mental Health recorded a spike in the number of Filipinos facing mental health issues due to the pandemic.
In response to the times, Propel Manila decided it was important to devote its resources and attention to mental health of its employees, and at the same time help raise public awareness for mental health and make care accessible to more people.
While the agency has always been an advocate for strong mental health with its previously-launched programs like Annual Mental Health Check-Up and access to mental health services through its Mental Health Card for all employees, the agency wanted to strengthen its programs to help everyone in the agency cope with the times.
It just recently implemented its Mind Day, a day a month where everyone takes a rest to rest the mind. Along with it is its Humanity Work Schedule that encourages teams to avoid work before 10AM and after 5PM, to create that line between professional and personal and allow everyone to spend more time with people that matter. This also goes hand in hand with its weekly wellness activities such as yoga, tai chi, among others. “Taking care of our mental health is one of the keys in surviving and thriving at this time,” says Propel Manila Culture Chief Maureen Valenzuela. “We believe that taking care of our talent’s mental health and well-being improves both the quality of their life and the quality of the work we do for our partners.”
Apart from allotting adequate resources and attention for mental health internally, Propel Manila also partnered with MindCare and released a film in partnership with filmmaker Vir Ascabano to raise awareness for mental health and give people a way to reach out when they need help at this time.
And most recently, they partnered with MindNation and Pride@Tech to create complex emojis that make sense of the overwhelming, complicated feelings the pandemic has brought us. The complex emojis were turned into communications that link people to a chatbot that can support them and to free psychological consultations should they need it.
This week, they took over 4As website and social media to put a spotlight on mental health.