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Manila – The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) successfully conducted the sixth series in its Revive & Thrive COVID-19 webinars in time for the celebration of the World Mental Health Day as streamed live via the official ILS Facebook page and published real time via StreamYard last October 6.

Titled “Between Resilience & Transformation:: Understanding Workers-powered Mental Health Care in the Philippines,” the webinar was formally opened by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Benjo Santos M. Benavidez who stressed the importance of mental health as a decent work and development imperative.

The keynote message was delivered by Senator Risa Hontiveros, author of Republic Act 11036, also known as the Philippine Mental Health Law, which aims to safeguards the mental health of Filipino citizens through education, medical advancements, and other support systems. Her message emphasized the significance of post-legislative actions that would continuously and consistently implement the Mental Health Law, especially for fellow Filipinos to have access to mental health care at the community level. She also mentioned that investing on people’s mental health and wellbeing is of utmost importance citing that “without sound mental health there can be no genuine physical health.”

The panel was helmed by Dr. Gia Sison, an occupational medicine specialist who currently heads the Women’s Wellness Center in the Makati Medical Center hospital. Dr. Sison is also the national adviser of the Philippines’ Youth for Mental Health (Y4M) Coalition and the host of G Talks, a digital series on CNN Philippines. She was joined by Dr. Raymond John ‘RJ’ Naguit, an activist, nurse, medical doctor, and mental health advocate. He also serves as the Founder/ National Chairperson of The Youth for Mental Health (Y4M) 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. Completing the panel was Ronell J. Delerio, Acting Supervising Labor and Employment Officer (LEO) of the Workers Welfare Research Division (WWRD), a mental health researcher and advocate.

The panelists sought to discuss the huge mental health challenge exacerbated by COVID-19. Through the lens of resilience and transformation, the panel looked at both the individual mental health issues facing workers and the environmental factors that shape their broader experience of wellbeing and dignity.

The initial part of the discussion focused on mental resilience as the panel talked about various ways to seek and provide self-care and community care. The panel next looked into mental health through a transformative lens, examining pathways to build a caring workplace and society, and all other challenges and opportunities in between. The panel discussion was moderated by Ms. Paulina Kim C. Pacete, Acting Chief LEO of the Employment Research Division (ERD), together with Ms. Malorie Joy Mones, Senior LEO of WWRD.

The discussion was followed by an online breakout mini-workshop session, which devised actions for mental health under the top three factors that drive its implementation, namely: (1) Policy or Institution (2) Financing or Investment, and (3) Culture or Social Norms. The breakout sessions were led and facilitated by Carl Sean E. Pablico (Senior LEO, Labor and Social Relations Research Division), Atty. Tecelyn B. Maramag (Senior LEO, Advocacy and Publications Division), and Arianne Ishreen C. Bucar (LEO III, WWRD) respectively.

ILS Executive Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba delivered the message of appreciation to all panelists, facilitators, participants and to the almost one thousand viewers who tuned in live via the ILS Facebook page. To date, the livestream video has reached 11,384 unique Facebook users and has been viewed more than four thousand times.

To view the recorded webinar with closed captioning and Filipino Sign Language features, please go to this link: