Recognizing the need to address the increasing number of people with mental health concerns, the Rotary Club of Mandaue, District 3860 will conduct a free webinar on the subject.
The Faith, Hope & Healing webinar, which is set on July 23, 2021, is part of the club’s celebration of its 50th Charter Anniversary. The club’s anniversary is on July 24.
“As you know the pandemic has affected everyone. The pandemic lockdowns, quarantine and social distancing, restrictions and social isolations have caused uncertainties, people losing jobs and loved ones and there is an increased level of depression and anxiety which are prone to substance abuse,” notes RC Mandaue Past President and Past Assistant Governor Hermie Go, the co-chair for this event.
Go explained that the Webinar session serves as a learning session and an opportunity to reach out to those who are struggling and raise awareness on Mental Health.
“They will be able to seek help through the network that this session will be able to create and to know our individual capability to help and support to those who need us,” she added.
The club invited two inspiring speakers.
The first speaker is Pastor Ron de los Santos. He is the president and chief executive officer of Safehaven Addiction Treatment and Recovery Village, a treatment center for people with substance use disorder (SUDs) and mental illness associated with it.
De los Santos will discuss the first topic, Life Second Chance: Try Again or Give Up? This Way or That Way.
De los Santos will share his story on how he was able to overcome his difficult and seemingly hopeless situation and become an inspiration to many who go through similar struggles.
The pastor had been a drug addict but started to change his life’s choices after he lost his mother to cancer. He became a bible student in a seminary in Cebu and completed his Bachelor in Theology degree in 1995, Magna Cum Laude.
He went home to Mindanao and took up BSE major in Guidance and Counseling at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato.
Aside from his position at Safehaven, he also serves as president and CEO of BAI (Battle Against Ignorance) Foundation, Inc. and school director of Talamban Christian School with students from pre-school to high school.
He was conferred an educational certification as Addiction Recovery Specialist and Life Skills Specialist by Asia Metropolitan University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The second speaker is Dr. Maria Leore Igot, a clinician, a professor and researcher, and advocator of mental health.
Dr. Igot will tackle the topic on “Coping with Pandemic Depression and Anxiety.”
She is a Fellow of the Philippine Psychiatric Association, a Fellow of the Philippine College of Addiction of Medicine and an International Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Igot has a research publication on Depression among Breast Cancer Patients. She is also a Faculty Member of Cebu Institute of Medicine, University of Cebu School of Medicine and Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine.
She is an active consultant of Chemical Dependents’ Control and Rehabilitation Center (CDCARE) of North General Hospital. She is also a consultant of several hospitals and psychiatric facilities in Cebu City.
“Before the pandemic, one out of five to one out of six Filipinos are expected to have depression and anxiety. And, this has increased during the pandemic,” she pointed out. “There’s an increasing incidence of anxiety and depression among both young and old.”
Dr. Igot has been involved in seminars on similar subjects, which were organized by companies.
“I’m happy I’ll be able to impart my knowledge and hopefully will be able to out to people, enlighten them with mental health and hopefully prevent these concerns,” she added.
District Trainer Angel “Jong” Fernandez said they are inviting all Rotarians to participate in the seminar.
According to Fernandez, there are 97 clubs in the District 3860 and there are 10 districts in the Philippines. He added that they are targeting at least 200 participants and at most 300 participants. Some Rotaractors will also be joining the webinar.
He explained that in Rotary there are seven areas of focus, including peace and conflict prevention and resolution, basic education and literacy, economic and community development, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, disease prevention and treatment and supporting the environment.
“This program would fit the advocacies we’re promoting. We’ve like to be also of help to the youth, not only adult,” Fernandez said. “To some extent, our club could also create understand and capability on how to deal with the issue of mental health.”
Past Assistant Governor Fred Agor also noted that the webinar is a great service project that will serve those who would need help in dealing with pandemic challenges particularly in coping up mentally and emotionally.
RMA News founder Robby Alugar will also speak about how he decided to establish the news website amid the pandemic.
While many businesses have closed because of the lockdown, Alugar saw that people would need to get information and the best way to get this is through online news.
However, he wanted to feature only positive news on his news website to give hope to his readers. RMA News is the sole sponsor of the webinar.
“There is opportunity in every crisis like this pandemic. One takes the risk and the opportunity and should not lose hope in attaining your passion. The news website also supports the advocacy on mental health and staying positive by carrying only positive news,” he adds.