UP OFSA to create network of mental health advocates through Sandigan, Sandalan Project

| Written by Padayon UP

In this pandemic, stakeholders who have direct contact with students should be aware of the importance of mental health (MH) and the nurturing role of teachers in remote learning contexts, especially within the University of the Philippines (UP).

Mental health advocates play critical roles in responding to the MH concerns and coping needs of UP students. To help create a network of MH advocates for a healthy and nurturing UP, the UP Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Office of Student Financial Assistance (OVPAA-OSFA) is presenting Sandigan, Sandalan: Training and Advocacy programs for Mental Health.

One of the components of the Sandigan, Sandalan Project is the Training on Mental Health Promotion in the Teaching-Learning Environment for College Mental Health focal persons. College Mental Health Focal Persons are UP faculty members and Student Affairs staff who can advocate for MH care in classes and other teaching-learning contexts. The online training provides practical resources on MH promotion and forums where focal persons can interact with peers and invited experts. The training program will cover (1) Essentials of Mental Health, (2) Creating Supportive Teaching-Learning Environments, and (3) Action points to Address Psychosocial Concerns of UP students.

The training team is led by Maria Angela Mabale, RN (College of Nursing, UP Manila) and Airon Andrew Bonifacio, RND (College of Home Economics, UP Diliman). The program resource persons include Rowalt Alibudbud, MD (College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University); Victoria Patricia De La Llana, MD (College of Medicine, UP Manila); Raymond John Naguit, MD (Youth for Mental Health Coalition); Eleanor Caballo, RGC (College of Arts and Science, UP Manila); and Blesile Mantaring, MD (Office of Student Affairs, UP Manila).

The Training Program on Mental Health Promotion in the Teaching-Learning Environment will begin on 8 March 2021 to accommodate the first batch of College Mental Health focal persons. Subsequent runs will be organized by the OVPAA-OSFA in the 2nd semester AY 2020-2021 to cover all constituent universities of UP and help build the College Mental focal persons’ capacity to advocate mental health care in the University.

For inquiries, please contact the OVPAA-OSFA at [email protected].

(This article was first published in the UP System Website on March 5, 2021)