PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) recently partnered with the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation of Butuan City, supporting their Mental Health Awareness Seminar. Through PLDT and Smart’s Better Today program, the companies invited longtime mental health co-champion Riyan Portuguez, more popularly known as “Your Millennial Psychologist”, to engage the youth in discussing “The Science of Self-care”.

Cynth Zephanee Nietes, SK Federation President, said, “We are extremely happy and grateful to PLDT and Smart for partnering with us in our mental health advocacy. This is a great help given the increase in mental health concerns among the youth. I hope we can sustain this initiative.”

“The mental health campaign has been part of the local development plan because a lot of people are affected. There are stereotypes and stigma surrounding mental health, so we need to conduct more dialogues about it. It is important for young people to also take care of our mental wellness to be ready for tomorrow,” she added.

PLDT, Smart, SK Federation Butuan break stigma, encouraging youth mental health conversations

Portuguez touched on components of mental health and shared tips on caring for oneself, emphasizing the importance of the students and youth leaders’ role in normalizing conversations on Mental Health. Some students shared about their struggles in juggling studies and personal life, while others expressed interest in psychology and mental health issues.

“I joined this seminar because it is an opportunity for us to know more about mental health. Not only is this related to my course, but I also hope to educate fellow youth and help those with mental health concerns. To lessen this problem, we must keep learning and helping each other,” shared André Franz Sibayan, college student from Fr. Saturnino Urios University.

Better Today’s emphasis on mental health is a key part of PLDT and Smart’s continuing commitment to help the Philippines contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly UNSDG #3 that stands for good health and well-being.

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