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The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS), together with the Institute for Labor Studies Employees Association (ILSEA), held its first online brownbag session on the topic titled “Mental Health and Social Care in the Time of Quarantine” via Zoom platform last March 25.

The resource person for the said session was Dr. Raymond John “RJ” Naguit, mental health advocate and Founder/ National Chairperson of The Youth for Mental Health Coalition, Inc., an NGO composed of youth advocates who lobby for the passage of the mental health bill and work towards improving the Philippine mental health situation.

Dr. Naguit tackled the basic information about COVID19 before proceeding to delve on its physical as well as mental health impact.

“It is normal for people to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis,” he said and advised ILS employees to stay connected and maintain social networks, maintain one’s daily routine, review and employ helpful coping strategies.

Dr. Naguit said that one should get their facts straight regarding COVID19 and gather information at regular intervals but cautioned also employees who are feeling anxious and stressed from watching, reading or listening to news that could trigger such anxieties further. He also highlighted the value of amplifying positive stories and positive images of local people who have experienced COVID19. He further stressed that employees suffering from clear mental health problems during the quarantine should be able to have and be given the option to seek professional help when necessary.