In an intimate gathering at Alba’s Estancia Mall hosted by Jeunesse Anion, guests were made aware of the prevalence of mental health issues now plaguing the society.  The statistics are disturbing and the once-taboo topic is now being discussed openly. Mental illness is real and it affects millions of Filipinos and millions more around the world. For starters, did you know that women are 40 percent more likely to have some form of mental condition than men? When we reach puberty, have our menstrual cycle, enter the perimenopause and menopause stages, our hormones go haywire. This affects how we feel and react to stress factors.

What is frightening to me as a parent is that more and more cases of depression and anxiety are being reported among the youth. I personally know five parents who have lost their sons to suicide. The heartbreaking stories are too much to bear but it brings the need for society to really take the matter seriously. Out of high school students aged 13-115 years of age, 17% have tried to commit suicide at least once, 12% are considering to do so and 11% have planned exactly the means to take their own lives. How’s that for scary statistics?

SPEAK UP NOW! Mental Illness is REAL.

Three speakers shared their personal experiences about the disease and offered relevant information on how to deal with the problem. Pastor Dave Estrera shared that this disease is almost undetectable. Depression, for example, has no face. People can be seen smiling and going about their daily work but have depression. When people say “Ok lang ako,” be wary. It’s the time we take in listening to our friends, our relatives and even strangers that could spell the difference. Social media plays a big role, too. With people comparing their lives to a sanitized and glamorized stage for influencers, the watchers are left wanting and unhappy. Sleep, which greatly affects our health, is lacking in most victims. And the spiritual connection is something that a lot have forgotten. People have no refuge, or so it seems.

Nutritionist Cheshire Que believes that diet, nutrition, and mental illness are all connected. What we put in our stomach affects our brain. So if you eat a lot of fast food, consume junk food and love sweets, beware! You are putting yourself in a precarious situation. Que shared that she too suffered from the disease early on. She removed all the unhealthy triggers in her diet like gluten, sugar, everything white and processed, and soy. It’s important to reinoculate ourselves by taking in probiotics. Spending time under the sun and exercising release essential chemicals to happiness like dopamine and serotonin.

YOLO by Renz Suntay founder Sheila Suntay talked about her family’s personal grief when she lost her son to suicide last year. This led her to start a foundation to help spread awareness about this invisible disease. She challenges people to talk about the issue at hand, for parents to be vigilant in the activities of their children and their use of social media and for the society to acknowledge that mental health should be given priority. There are only 60 psychiatric centers in the country and most are ashamed to go and have themselves diagnosed.

Congratulations Jeunesse Anion on hilding such a timely and relevant talk!

***Jeunesse Anion is available in five variants -ultra day pad, ultra night pad, all-day,day pad non-wing and pantyliner. All serve as a canvass for a hassle-free and hygienic canvass during the menstrual period. It’s now available in Watson’s, Mercury Drug and south Start Drugstore and in leading supermarkets locally.

With a pocketful of glitter,

 

 

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