PASIG CITY, May 7, 2020 — The Department of Education (DepEd) continues to extend assistance to its constituents amid the COVID-19 situation as at least 600 personnel nationwide were able to learn more about Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) and Psychological First Aid (PFA) after a three-day Webinar last April 16, 17, and 21.
Through its Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS) and Bureau of Learner Support Services (BLSS), the webinar focused on the Department’s advocacy on looking after one’s mental health during the current public health situation.
“Alam nating lahat na very challenging ang panahon ngayon at nakikita natin na hindi lang ang virus mismo ang iniiwasan natin. [Malaki] rin ang epekto ng pangyayaring ito sa ating mental health. Tayo ay nagsagawa ng online webinar para matulungan natin ang ating mga minamahal, at mga personnel at mag-aaral sa kung ano mang pinagdadaanan nila” DepEd DRRMS Director Ronilda Co said.
The online-held event attended by Regional and Division DRRM Coordinators and School Health and Nutrition Personnel highlighted the importance of empathy and providing emotional support in these trying times where uncertainties may undermine a person’s mental health.
As a tool to help learners and personnel cope with the situation for this school year, DepEd eyes to utilize Remote Psychological First Aid since physical distancing measures and required health standards are being implemented. The said mechanism is grounded on the principles of Psychological First Aid: look, listen, and link.
A comprehensive talk led by Mr. Dan Paolo Yema, Assistant Professor from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos and Chair of the MHPSS Special Interest Group of the Psychological Association of the Philippines, shed light on the important considerations one should take note of when providing remote PFA.
Coping strategies were also taught by Mr. Karl Jingco and Mr. JK Anicoche from the Sining Galing Program of the Cultural Center of the Philippines on arts-based coping strategies. Ms. Madett Gardiola of Brahma Kumaris Philippines focused on the importance of meditation and mindfulness in our daily lives.