Mental Health Awareness Month 2023
October is Mental Health Awareness Month. People, including children, are adapting to the “now normal”, a transition from virtual learning to the return of face-to-face activities. It also serves as a reminder to check the well-being of each person, especially their mental health.
As part of their month-long celebration of Mental Health Month, the MMCL), through the collaboration of the Center for Guidance and Counseling (CGC) and the Center for Service- Learning and Community Engagement (CSCE), held its in-person Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) seminar on October 13, 2022, to its partner schools in Calauan, Laguna: Calauan Central Elementary School (CCES) and Makativille Elementary School (Makativille ES). The seminars were attended by more than 100 students from Grades 4, 5, and 6 of each school. Conducted by Ms. Joy P. Tarzona, MAEd, RGC, CGC Guidance Counselor, each seminar raised awareness on the core of mental health for young learners, build resiliency through self-awareness, boost well-being, understand emotions, and apply adaptive coping mechanisms to manage stressful situations effectively.
During the lecture, the students shared their thoughts about mental health and gave examples of situations that triggered their emotions or raised mental health issues, such as family problems or the feeling of anxiety. The students also took part in a series of relaxation activities and grounding exercises where they identified their surroundings using the body’s five senses.
Like adults, it was also important for children to learn about the importance of mental health. As the return to face-to-face classes went into full swing, the seminar hoped to help the students not to feel as anxious as the blended learning setup during the pandemic. The collaboration of CSCE and CGC on presenting MHPSS to partner schools showed that giving support to one’s well-being should always start young.